Get in: Premier League nets £3BN from BSkyB and BT for TV rights
Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 14-06-2012
Showing the strength of the game on the screen if not on the pitch, the English Premier League has sold the rights for seven TV packages for the 2013/14 to 2015/16 football seasons for an overall value of £3.018 billion.
The seven rights packages—comprising five of 26 matches and two of 12 matches—with BSkyB securing packages B, C, D, E and F totalling 116 matches and BT grabbing packages A and G with 38 matches.
The deal represents an incredible increase of £1.25 billion on the current broadcast settlement, which shares rights between BSkyB and ESPN.
Commenting on concluding the deal for which he is thought to have received a substantial bonus, Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, said: "The Barclays Premier League continues to provide excellent football and enthralling drama as we saw last season. The value this drives for our rights holders is evident and we are extremely pleased that this has been realised for our UK live rights. As ever, the security provided by broadcast revenues will enable our clubs to continue to invest in all aspects of their football activities and plan sustainably for the foreseeable future.”
It is thought that the astronomical figures paid for rights was driven by a major play by Al Jazeera which forced an unprecedented second round of bidding. Losing the rights to the Premier League would have put into question the whole future of the hugely cash-rich broadcaster and the new deal will cement Sky’s place as the engine of UK pay-TV.
Sky will pay £760 million per annum for the 5 packages of live rights for each of the three years of the new Premier League agreement and has been awarded live rights across all platforms – including satellite, cable, IPTV, online and mobile. This means Sky customers will be able to experience Premier League coverage through Sky Go on PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets and games consoles. Intriguingly, coverage will also be made available on Sky’s soon to launch NOW TV OTT service.
Commented Sky's Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch: “In what was a very competitive tender process, we are pleased to have secured the combination of rights that we wanted, providing certainty for us and our customers. Whilst the cost is higher, we have capacity for this increase through the combination of excellent work on cost efficiency across the business and choices over other future spending…We have never offered greater depth and breadth of coverage on Sky Sports, with unprecedented live action right across the schedule."
Not only is the amount being regarded as staggering given the general statues of the UK economy but also remarkable for the fact that BT made a later run unmarked to score its contract which displaced the US sports broadcast giant who of late has been ratcheting up its football coverage around the world, in particular the US.
"We welcome BT as a new Premier League broadcast partner,” added Scudamore. “They are a substantial British company that is at the leading edge of technology and infra-structure development. They are clearly investing in quality content to use on their platforms and when combined with the reach and pull of Premier League football they will deliver new ways in which fans will be able to follow the competition,”
Paying £246 million per season, BT will launch a new football-focused channel to carry the games with new interactive features when supplied over its fibre network. Yet it also assures that it will look to distribute the programme and features on other platforms. Said a clearly delighted CEO Ian Livingston: “We are pleased to have won these rights and to have secured around half of the best games on offer each season... We look forward to offering football fans real value and great quality using the latest technology. “