Sky Sports have once again won the rights to show the majority of the Premier League matches available for UK television for the seasons 2013-16, with BT taking the rest of the matches for the period. The league announced the deal in a press conference earlier this afternoon, stating that Sky Sports successfully bid for five of the seven available packages.
As a result, Sky Sports will screen 116 matches per season and that BT will screen 38 games. ESPN UK and Al Jazeera both missed out in the bidding which saw the amount of money in play rising once more quite drastically, thanks to one of the most exciting seasons in Premier League history.
From next year, the Premier League will receive an enormous £3 billion, rising from £1.8m (a frankly huge 82% increase) this season, and dwarfing the £304 million paid by Sky Sports for their first contract back in 1992 for coverage over five seasons. Sky will now pay £760m a year for 116 games, or £6.6m a game – compared with the current £4.7m.
Chief Executive Richard Scudamore discussed the impact of last season on those figures in a statement on the Premier League website:
“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. This deal allows them to keep delivering what fans want; top quality football in some of world’s best club stadia and an increasing focus on and commitment to areas such as Youth Development.
“The continuing support of BSkyB for Premier League football is significant beyond the revenues delivered; the longevity and quality of their commitment has done much for the English game as a whole. We are very happy to see this relationship maintained for another three seasons.
“We welcome BT as a new Premier League broadcast partner. 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.
“These are exciting times for both the football and media worlds and we should all be proud of the value both industries contribute to the UK culturally and economically.
“I would also like to place on record the Premier League’s thanks to the numerous other highly credible bidders that showed such interest in the live UK rights.”
Sky’s coverage will also include coverage through Sky Go on PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets and games consoles as well as on brand new internet TV service, NOW TV, which will launch later this year. Super Sundays and Monday Night Football will continue, while they have also added Saturday evening kick-offs to their schedule.
Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Chief Executive responded to the news with his own statement on the Sky Sports website:
“This is a good result for our customers and for our business. It means that Sky Sports remains the home of Premier League football and that viewers will continue to enjoy our live and exclusive coverage until at least 2016.
“We have never offered greater depth and breadth of coverage on Sky Sports, with unprecedented live action right across the schedule. At the same time we’re pushing ahead with more original British content, extending our leadership as the UK’s favourite triple play provider, and launching our new internet TV service, NOW TV, which will give us even more ways to distribute our content.
“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. As a result, we remain confident of delivering our financial plans, in line with our expectations, unchanged, in each year of the new deal.”
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