Sky and BT retain Premier League rights ... at a price

The Premier League has confirmed that there will be no changes to the broadcasters who can show live EPL matches from 2016-17 for three years.

Sky Sports and BT Sport will continue to carry Premier League football, but at a price.

The rights have sold for £5.13 billion, up nearly £2 billion on the last rights round. Of the seven packages of matches available to broadcasters, Sky has won seven, and BT Sport two.

BT Sport has therefore increased the number of matches it can show from 38 a season to 42, although overall there were more matches on offer in this rights round and BT will have less first picks. BT says it will be paying the equivalent of £7.6 million per game. Sky will be able to show ten more matches per season - 126, up from the current 116 and retains the lucrative 4pm Sunday rights.

Where and when?
From the 2016-17 season, this is how the rights are split up between the broadcasters, based on seven packages (A-F):

Sky Sports
Saturday 1230
Sunday 1330
Sunday 1600
Monday 1930 and Friday
G
Bank holidays and Sunday
BT Sport
Saturday 1730
F
Midweek and Saturday

Sky response
On receiving the news that Sky had won five of the seven packages, Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Group Chief Executive, said: “This is a good result and confirms that Sky is the unrivalled choice for sports fans. We went into the Premier League auction with a clear objective and are pleased to have secured the rights that we wanted."

Sky says that it will be able to show live coverage of every Premier League club at least four times a season and has additional rights to offer live coverage across a range of platforms, including online and mobile. All 126 matches it has rights to will be available via the Sky Sports day and week pass on NOW TV.

BT response
And BT responded with a statement emphasising its additional rights to show Champions League and Europa League football, saying it will now be able to show 115 matches per season featuring Premier League clubs.

John Petter, BT Consumer CEO said: “I am pleased we will be showing Premier League football for a further three years and that we have secured the prime Saturday evening slot. These new rights will enhance our existing schedule of football, rugby and other international sport, including all the live footballing action from the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues starting this summer."

BT says that the launch of BT Sport in 2013 "has supported the financial performance of BT Consumer by reducing churn, attracting new customers and encouraging existing customers to take more BT products. BT Consumer has now grown its revenue and profit for four consecutive quarters, following the launch of BT Sport."

Of course, what fans want to know is how much this will cost. With around 18 months to go until the 2016-17 season starts, details of subscription pricing are still a long way off. Commentators fear the increased cost of rights will be incorporated in more complicated tariffs, lengthy contracts and 'quad-play' bundled packages.






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