Sky Sports and BT Sport have retained live Premier League TV rights in the UK until 2019 – at a cost of £5.1 billion.
That’s considerably more than the £4.4 billion predicted by experts earlier in the day. Sky Sports have bought five of the seven live TV packages available, while BT Sport have two.
The current deal, which cost £3.3 billion, ends after the 2015-16 season. Sky Sports and BT Sport’s new contract works out at £5.136 billion, or over £10 million a game.
Sky have retained the valuable Sunday afternoon slots, while BT Sport will now show games at 5.30pm on Saturdays and mid-week games.
Sky Sports meanwhile will show Saturday lunch-time kick-offs, plus matches at 1.30pm and 4pm on Sundays.
BT Sport will show 42 live games a season compared to Sky Sports’s 126.
Sky’s Group Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said, “We went into the Premier League auction with a clear objective and are pleased to have secured the rights that we wanted.
“Our strong performance across the board gives us financial strength and flexibility. We have a clear plan to absorb the cost of the new Premier League deal while delivering our financial plans.”
BT Sport meanwhile were pleased to upgrade their Saturday lunchtime slot to an evening one, with John Petter, BT Consumer CEO, saying, “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.”
Richard Scudamore, the Premier League’s Chief Executive, said at the press announcement that he “continued to be surprised by every television deal.”
A statement from Scudamore praised the commitment of the two broadcasters to Premier League football: “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,” he said.
“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.
How the packages break down
Package A – Saturday 12.30pm
Package C – Sunday 1.30pm
Package D – Sunday 4pm
Package E – Monday and Friday evenings
Package G – Bank Holidays and other Sundays
Package B – Saturday evening 5.30
Package F – Midweek fixtures
How the bidding process works
The Premier League splits matches into seven different live packages (labelled A-G), and holds a bidding process for each group of matches.
Each package represents either 14 or 28 matches and a specific time slot. So, for example, Package A contains 28 matches on a Saturday at 12.45pm.
There are no fixed number of rounds for negotiations. A former negotiator told the Financial Times that the Premier League rights deal “has more intrigue and shenanigans than other” auctions.
No one broadcaster can buy all seven packages.