December 11 – The Premier League’s tender for its domestic broadcast rights package for 2019-22 has seen the league boost the number of packages available to seven with a total of 200 live games (up from 168).
The move to 200 live games sees an opening up of simultaneous broadcast of mid-week and Bank Holiday fixtures. While the number of games broadcast has gone up, the number of broadcast slots remains the same, satisfying a requirement from the UK broadcast regulator OFCOM to make more live games available for TV, but at the same time enabling the Premier League to keep a competitive edge to the bidding without flooding the market with more timeslots.
One timeslot the Premier League says it will open is a Saturday night, 7.45pm kick off, though the 3pm Saturday kick-off remains protected from live broadcast in the UK.
The current three-year deal is worth £5.1 billion to the Premier League and rose by 70% from its previous agreements. The big question is whether the increased live rights available will be enough to excite the OTT giants of Netflix, Amazon and Facebook into the market and push the values up.
Netflix have indicated that they will not be bidding for the rights, having adopted a fly-on-the-wall documentary approach to club football (they probably call it Soccer). Facebook have similarly indicated that they are unlikely to big for live rights.
However, Facebook do offer some interesting opportunities for the Premier League to dip their toe into the OTT market, especially with the added reach they come with via their 5 billion+ social connections and how that might be monetised via sponsorship and advertising. The mid-week packages look like a prime (and primetime) opportunity for some innovation.
One industry insider told Insideworldfootball not to expect the similar kinds of percentage increases of previous deals, but do expect some creativity in how rights are approached. “My gut feeling is you can probably expect a 5% increase overall, but that has to be taken into the context that is 5% of a much bigger base number than previous years,” he said.
English Premier League broadcast packages 2019-22
Package A: 32 matches, Sat 12.30pm
Package B: 32 matches, Sat 5.30pm
Package C: 24 matches, Sun 2pm, 8 matches Sat 7.45pm
Package D: 32 matches, Sun 4.30pm
Package E: 24 matches, Mon 8pm or Fri 7.30-8pm; 8 matches Sun 2pm
Package F: All 20 matches, from one Bank Holiday and one midweek fixture programme
Package G: All 20 matches, from two midweek fixture programmes.
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