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Published: Sat, February 17, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

BT, Sky score broadcast rights for Premier League in 2019

BT, Sky score broadcast rights for Premier League in 2019

Most Premier League football live broadcast packages for the three seasons beginning 2019/20 have been agreed, with Sky and BT Group picking up the bulk of games for £4.5bn.

BT Sport won the Saturday lunchtime slot but the bidding process has still not been concluded with two packages still up for grabs with internet giants Amazon believed to be in the running.

"While both Sky and BT will be paying less per match than they are contracted to do under the existing agreement, this is more of a sign that the market has plateaued than of its collapse, particularly since everything points to the Premier League obtaining an increase in the value of global broadcasting rights during the next auction of its kind", he said.

The EPL says there are still multiple bidders interested in the remaining two packages. The league also failed to sell two more packages of 20 games a season.

Sky Sports and BT Sports have paid a combined £4.464 billion for the next set of Premier League rights. It will, though, have the rights to 128 matches, two more than under the current deal, and has bought every weekend "first pick" of matches and the most coveted kick-off times.

It is reported that Amazon may yet bid for one of the smaller, less-valuable packages. In recent years, companies such as Amazon - which recently secured the United Kingdom rights for the US Open tennis tournament - and Facebook - which last year made an unsuccessful $600m bid for the Indian Premier League cricket - have entered the sports rights market.

Two packages remain unsold at the current time.

Shares in both BT and Sky are up today after the pair announced they had secured a cheaper Premier League football deal.

Stephen van Rooyen, Sky's United Kingdom chief executive, highlighted the company's "disciplined approach" to investing in premium content. Further, the amount that Sky is willing to pay per game has fallen as much as 14% from £10.8mn to £9.3mn.

Sky boasted that it "remains the home of Premier League football".

So, while it may see smaller audiences for some Premier League matches post 2019, there's no reason to assume the firm will see mass cancellations because of the outcome of this week's auction.

An agreement reached by Sky and BT in November to provide each other's content to their customers for the first time also played a significant role in suppressing the value of rights, according to experts. "Our disciplined approach means we continue to have the flexibility to invest in each of these areas as we choose, underlining our position as Europe's largest investor in content".

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