14 February, 2018
Sky will continue to be the chief telecaster of Premier League football after their broadcasting rights were extended to 2022. Five of seven live packages have been awarded, with bidding for the remaining two ongoing.
The final two packages of games are interesting - they consist of the full round of fixtures from three midweek rounds of fixtures along with a round of games fixed for a Bank Holiday.
Yet in the new tranche of rights, Sky has nabbed the four main totalling 128 games a season, up from 126 matches now, for "just" £1.193 billion per annum, representing a 16% cost reduction per game compared with the current agreement.
Following the outcome of the recent Premier League auction, from 2019 ( ) will show more matches than ever before, with the biggest matches in the best slots sitting alongside an ever broader offering of drama, entertainment and comedy. The Times noted in its coverage of the news that the price paid for the five packages totalling 160 matches is just under £700 million short of the £5.136 billion total achieved three years ago for 168 games.
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Despite the fall in total take for the Premier League, Mr Jones said the deal "will still leave the Premier League as the richest league in the world by a margin". As it stands the broadcaster will pay £9.3m per game, whereas in 2015 it paid about £11m per game.
It includes the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, the Emirates FA Cup, MotoGP, boxing, Aviva Premiership rugby and European Rugby Champions Cup.
"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".
Meanwhile Sky UK chief executive Stephen van Rooyen said: "We continue to invest in content that our customers value and which complements our strategy to broaden our offer". 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. BT will pay a deposit this month of GBP 26.5 million, followed by six instalments of around GBP 145 million from July 2019, payable every six months until December 2021.