Amazon, BT and Sky will continue to show their current quotas of Premier League games each season until summer 2025.
As first reported last month, the Premier League has taken the option to rollover existing broadcasting rights. It feared that a regular auction would not raise as much money. The new rights period covers August 2022 until May 2025.
The impact of the pandemic on commercial broadcasters, plus BT’s efforts to offload its sports channels, meant that the Premier League faced a reduction of income had the UK rights gone out to auction. The Government this week agreed the move in principle, with strings attached:
In return, the Premier League will plough an extra £100 million to clubs in lower leagues. This will help clubs deal with the impact of Covid on their finances.
Now the rollover has been agreed in principle, a formal process to confirm the new rights deal will now take place.
Responses from broadcasters
Stephen van Rooyen, Chief Executive Officer, Sky UK & Europe, said: “We are proud to have been part of the success of the Premier League from the very beginning and we have worked hard this year to provide support through the challenges of the pandemic and prove the enduring strength and depth of our partnership. … The proposed renewal will support the whole football pyramid and give much needed stability and certainty.”
BT’s Mark Allera said: “Throughout this difficult year the Premier League and broadcasters have all worked together to find pro-active solutions to ensure the Premier League, and the lower leagues, have a safe and secure way out of the pandemic. This in principle renewal of our broadcast rights is great for our viewers, but also helps to provide vital support for the broader football community that relies on the Premier League. The fantastic news for our viewers is that, once the deal is concluded, they will be able to continue to enjoy the Premier League alongside the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League exclusively live on BT Sport.”
BT Sport sale impact
The rollover may provide BT with some interest in its sports channels. It wants to either sell them outright, or move them to a joint venture with another partner. Potential new entrants to the Premier League, such as DAZN, are now locked out until 2025. This means acquiring BT Sport may prove to be the only way to enter the UK sports TV market.
Last weekend, The Times reported that ITV was not continuing talks with BT Sport. This followed reports linking ITV to BT’s sale.