Seven packages in domestic Premier League tender
By Julian Clover

The Premier League has launched an Invitation to Tender for the live UK TV rights for three years starting with the 2013/14 season.

A total of 154 live matches will be made available split into seven packages; this represents an increase of 16 more matches and one additional package. The current three-year agreements with Sky and ESPN have a value of £1.78 billion (€2.19bn).
The Live rights consist of five packages of 26 matches and two packages of 12 matches. No single buyer will be allowed to acquire more than 116 matches.

The extra 16 games are those displaced from Saturday afternoons by midweek fixtures in the Europa League or moved on police advise.
Currently Sky holds five of the six available packages, offering games on Saturday lunchtime, Sunday lunchtime and early evening, Monday night and some midweek fixtures. ESPN has a single Saturday teatime package.

In a statement the Premier League said the new offer created a more attractive and compelling offering for both broadcasters and fans; whilst allowing the continued protection of the Saturday 3pm ‘closed window’ and minimising further displacement of Premier League fixtures.
A separate tender process will be held for two ‘near live’ long form packages – one for linear and the other for on-demand. An Internet-based Clips package for all 380 matches will also be sold.