Both Sky and BT Sport have agreed upon a fee of $7.882 billion to broadcast the English Premier League for a total of 3 seasons beginning in the 2019/20 season.
There is still some bidding to be done with five out of the seven television packages already being awarded. The Premier League has said that there is still interest from “multiple bidders”.
Many people thought that e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and Twitter could have entered the bidding race. They may well have and could still be a chance to broadcast games with midweek and bank holiday fixtures still up for grabs.
At the 2015 auction for rights to the Premier League, Sky and BT payed $9.07 billion and could end up paying a significant amount less at this auction.
Sky Sports will broadcast 128 matches in each of the three seasons which includes 32 matches to be telecast in the prime Saturday timeslot of 5:30pm. They will be paying $6.319 billion to do so.
The Saturday afternoon 12:30pm timeslot was won by BT Sport who is set to broadcast 32 matches at this time each season. BT will be paying significantly less that Sky having bid $1.56 billion.
Sky Sports will be paying approximately $3 million less per game from 2019/20 and is due to broadcast all of the big games with Saturday tea time, Sunday, Monday and Friday night matches all on the agenda.
Premier League chairmen, Richard Scudamore, said that both Sky and BT were “fantastic partners”.
The UK chief executive of Sky Sports, Stephen van Rooyen said that in winning the rights for a smaller amount, it showed the firm’s “disciplined approach” to investing in high quality content.
The director of Deloitte’s sports business group, Austin Houlihan said that the Premier League rights would remain at a premium in comparison to all other sporting leagues and that the money can be re-invested into developments in talent and infrastructure.
He continued to say that a “non-traditional media company” could still acquire the exclusive rights to one of the Europe’s top 5 leagues.
Recently, Sky and BT Sports agreed to a deal that would enable each of the networks to share their sports channels across platforms in order to reach a greater market.
The deal allows Sky to broadcast BT Sports UEFA Champions League matches on its channels whilst BT has access to Sky’s Now TV Service.
This is another big coup for Sky after they won the right to the darts at the end of last year.