Premier League: It's Sky and BT again - and no sign of tech giants (yet)
The English Premier League’s long-awaited and much-anticipated award of live domestic media rights for the 2019-20 to 2021-22 seasons has been largely completed, with the incumbents, Sky and BT Sport paying a total of £4.464 billion ($6.202 billion) to acquire five of the seven packages on offer, and no sign (as yet) of a much-trumpeted disruption of the status quo by technology giants such as Amazon, Facebook and Google.
However, the league said that there was “interest from multiple bidders” for the two remaining packages.
Sky will pay £3.579 billion of the total, with BT Sport paying £885 million, meaning, Sky said, that it is now paying less to “show more matches than ever before.”
Sky, which has landed rights to 128 games a season, up from 126 matches currently, said that it “has chosen to pay £1,193 million per annum under the terms of the new deal, down £199 million per annum, a 16-per-cent cost reduction per game versus the current agreement.”
As things stand, Sky will pay £9.3 million per game, compared with about £11 million per game under the present deal.
That compares with BT Sport, which will show fewer matches than at present, as things stand, but will pay more per match (£9.2 million, compared with £7.6 million under the present deal).
The agreement represents a fall in the number of BT Sport’s matches compared with the 42 matches a season it shows under the present agreement (albeit two packages are yet to be allocated).
Sky has once again bagged the majority of matches, comprising the 128 matches contained in packages B, C, D and E (compared with 126 that it shows under the present deal), and giving it control of the remaining kick-off times of Saturdays at 5.30pm, Sundays at 2pm and Saturdays at 7.45pm, Sundays at 4.30pm and Mondays at 8pm or Fridays at 7pm to 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.
The remaining two, as-yet-unallocated, packages are Package F (all 20 matches from one Bank Holiday and one midweek fixture programme) and Package G (all 20 matches from two midweek fixture programmes).
The number of matches to be broadcast totals 200, an increase on the 168 matches per season currently shared by Sky and BT Sport.
At present, Sky shows 126 live games per season and BT Sport 42 games per season in deals worth a total of £5.14 billion over three years that expire at the end of next season.
|Premier League live rights packages 2019-20 to 2021-22|
|Package||Winner||Package details||Match picks|
|Package A||BT Sport||32 matches: Saturdays at 12.30pm||20 second picks, 12 fifth picks|
|Package B||Sky Sports||32 matches: Saturdays at 5.30pm||15 first picks, five third picks, 12 fifth picks|
|Package C||Sky Sports|
24 matches: Sundays at 2pm
8 matches: Saturdays at 7.45pm
|14 second picks, 18 fourth picks|
|Package D||Sky Sports||32 matches: Sundays at 4.30pm||19 first picks, seven third picks, six fourth picks|
|Package E||Sky Sports|
24 matches: Mondays at 8pm or Fridays 7.30pm to 8pm
8 matches: Sundays at 2pm
|22 third picks, 10 fourth picks|
|Package F||To be awarded||20 matches: All 10 games from one Bank Holiday and all 10 matches from one midweek slot||N/A|
|Package G||To be awarded||20 matches: All games from two midweek programmes||N/A|
The Premier League launched the domestic broadcast rights invitation to tender in early December, and the BBC, the country’s free-to-air public-service broadcaster, retained television highlights in a contract worth £211.5 million, a slight increase, of just 4 per cent, on the £204 million shelled out by the network last time.
Richard Scudamore (pictured), executive chairman of the Premier League, said: “We are extremely pleased that BT and Sky continue to view the Premier League and our clubs as such an important part of their offering. Both broadcasters are fantastic partners for the Premier League and have a track record of making our competition available to fans across the country through their high-quality and innovative programming.
“To have achieved this investment with two packages of live rights remaining to sell is an outcome that is testament to the excellent football competition delivered by the clubs. It provides them with certainty and will underpin their continued efforts to put on the most compelling football, invest sustainably in all areas, and use their popularity and reach to have a positive impact on the sport and beyond.
“We will now continue the sales process to deliver the best possible outcome for the remaining packages of rights in the UK and throughout the rest of the world.”