Premier League TV rights expected to cost broadcasters £4.4 billion
Sky and BT Sport are leading negotiations in what would be a 45% increase on current deal
The cost of broadcasting live Premier League matches on TV is expected to reach record levels when the league announces its latest rights deal.
Seven different live packages are up for grabs from 2016-2019, and the BBC are reporting that the total cost could reach £4.4 billion.
The Premier League is expected to announce the outcome of negotiations imminently, with Sky and BT Sport leading the negotiations.
However, other players including Discovery Network (which owns Eurosport), Qatar-based broadcaster BeIn Sports and Al Jazeera have all been reported to have entered discussions.
The current deal, which finished at the end of the 2015-16 season, is worth £3 billion, but the new deal could represent at 45 per cent increase on that price.
BT Sport have already secured exclusive live Champions League rights from next season, but Sky are said to be particularly keen to secure its traditional Sunday afternoon matches.
The BBC have already announced that they have retained Match of the Day highlights at a reported cost of £204 million.
How it 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 26 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.