Sky and BT Sport will pay the Premier League £5.136bn to share live TV rights for three seasons from 2016 until 2019.
Sky have won five of the seven packages of matches on offer, including the new Friday evening game slot. BT won the remaining two packages for the Saturday 5:30pm and midweek slots. Sky will pay £4.176bn under the terms of the new agreement, and BT £960m.
The deal represents a 70% increase on the previous contract – also shared by Sky and BT – and means that with 168 games now been screened live – each match is worth £10.2m.
“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,” said the Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.
“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.”
Joshuar Raymond, senior market analyst at www.cityindex.co.uk, said Sky would be relieved to have retained the lion’s share of the TV deal, even if it has come at an extraordinary cost.
“The big news is that the total prices paid broke £5bn to hit £5.136bn, a jump of more than 70% on the same package last time around and a new record.
“This is a huge jump and shows the huge competition BT posed in forcing Sky to bid to new heights. Sky had the most to risk with this TV deal and has been forced to pay over the odds to secure prime packages including the Sunday lunchtime kick offs, which typically attracts the highest viewing audience.
“I expect Sky shareholders to react warmly to this latest victory but in the medium term, there has to be a deeper concern on the spiralling prices paid by broadcasters.”