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Sky and BT Drive Up Premier League TV Rights Value

Wed 11th Feb 2015 | Television & Broadcasting

Sky and BT have between them paid more than £5.1bn for the next round of Premier League TV rights.

Concluding the sales process for the seven live broadcasting packages for the three seasons 2016/17 – 2018/19, the broadcasters will pay on average £10m per match, up 70% on the current deal.

Announcing the deal, Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, said: “Premier League clubs deliver competitive and compelling football to fans in stadiums and on television, driving interest levels to new heights.

“Both Sky Sports and BT Sport have done a tremendous job in bringing the game to the fans as well as providing the revenue that allows clubs to invest in football, facilities, youth development and their communities.

“It is an endorsement of what the Barclays Premier League delivers that these broadcast partnerships have been extended and enhanced today. We are grateful for the continued belief that Sky Sports and BT Sport have in the Premier League and our clubs, both as a sporting competition and organisations to work with.

“We are also grateful to the significant interest and participation in the process from other highly credible parties.

“This outcome provides a degree of certainty so clubs can continue to invest and run themselves in a sustainable manner; it also allows us to start planning how the Premier League can continue to support the rest of the football pyramid from the grassroots upwards.

“This structure also allows us to strike a balance between match-attending fans and those who choose to watch on television. Keeping grounds full is a priority for the Premier League and our clubs, and I am sure the flexible ticketing policies that have helped keep attendances so high will continue to develop.

“Although we have had a successful outcome for this process, following on from the highlights’ award, there is still the ongoing Ofcom investigation to be concluded. We remain confident that the Premier League’s live UK broadcasting rights are sold in a way that is compatible with both UK and EU competition law as well as being of great benefit to the whole of English football.”

BT will pay £320m per season compared with £246m per season at present having won the rights to broadcast 42 games including Saturday evening matches. 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 Sport has got off to a strong start, reaching more than five million households and commercial premises, by making itself far more affordable and accessible to sports fans.”

Analysing the deal, Austin Houlihan, Senior Manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “The current cycle of Premier League broadcast deals generates over £5.5 billion in domestic and overseas rights fees, delivering a key competitive advantage for the English top-flight compared to other European leagues. 

“This is strengthened hugely by the new live rights deals, which deliver a 70% boost compared to current deals. This is similar to the uplift achieved the last time the Premier League went to market, with live rights fees almost tripling in value compared to the two cycles previously. 

“The domestic rights fee per live game has now reached £10.2m, compared to £6.5m per game in the current cycle. 

“With increases already achieved from domestic live and highlights rights deals and anticipated strong growth in overseas deals, the benefits of the new deals for Premier League clubs will be substantial. 

“In 1991/92, the season before the inception of the Premier League, top-flight clubs generated less than £15m in broadcast revenue.  In 2013/14, the first season of the current three year cycle, the 20 top-flight clubs shared broadcast distributions totalling £1.5 billion.  The new round of deals from 2016/17, will deliver record amounts to clubs.

“With this latest round of Premier League deals we see no signs that the ‘media rights bubble’ is going to burst any time soon, as some have predicted regularly over the last 20 years.  Top-tier domestic league football continues to be highly attractive to Pay-TV, delivering subscription-driving content through ten months of the year.”

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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