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Sky and BT cut spending on Premier League football TV rights

14 February 2018

The Premier League will receive £4.464 billion from Sky and BT Sport for the right to broadcast football games for three years.

Meanwhile Sky has bagged four packs of rights totalling 128 games a season, which is up from 126 matches now.

Hedge fund Polygon Global Partners, which is an investor in Sky, said the outcome of the English Premier League soccer rights auction supported its view that the takeover by Twenty-First Century Fox undervalues the British company. They include one package which has 20 matches via one midweek fixture list and one Bank Holiday, and a package which includes 20 matches from two midweek fixture lists.

Sky said it has chosen to pay 1.193 billion pounds per annum under the terms of the new deal, down 199 million pounds per annum and also representing a 16 percent cost reduction per game versus the current agreement. That means the broadcaster, while paying more, has actually lost 10 games and will only screen games now at Saturday lunchtime, a less attractive scenario than the more popular 5.30pm slot.

However, Simon Leaf, a sports lawyer at Mishcon de Reya, said tech giants such as Amazon or Facebook could still be in line to win the remaining packages of 20 games per season.

Sky has taken all of the other packages, including Package C which includes 24 games at 14:00 on Sunday and eight Saturday night games, kicking off at 19:45.

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"It provides them with certainty and will underpin their continued efforts to put on the most compelling football, invest sustainably in all areas, and use their popularity and reach to have a positive impact on the sport and beyond".

BT clarified that it will pay the Premier League a deposit of UK£26.5 million (US$36.78 million) this month, followed by six instalments of around UK£145 million (US$201.2 million) starting in July 2019, payable every six months until December 2021.

Sky Sports will remain the dominant broadcaster for the Premier League until at least May 2022.

BT will only show 32 live games on Saturdays at 12:30. Sky, which has based its original revival from financial difficulties in 1992, and escalating commercial fortunes since, on securing exclusive rights to live Premier League football, is to show the matches on its dedicated Premier League channel.

Do you think its fair live top-flight football has been absent from free-to-air TV since the Premier League began in 1992?

Sky's United Kingdom chief executive Stephen van Rooyen was also pleased with the deal, with the company spending 16% less per game than in its current package.

Sky and BT cut spending on Premier League football TV rights