January 31 – The first of the Premier League’s new domestic TV deals has been announced with the BBC agreeing a £211.5 million deal, securing its iconic Match of the Day highlights show.
The Saturday night show was first broadcast in 1964 and with the new contract will run another three years to at least the 2021-22 season. Rights include Match of the Day 2, Football Focus and The Premier League Show.
The new figure is a £7.5 million increase on the previous £204 million package.
Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said: “To secure the Premier League highlights for another three years is fantastic news for football fans all over the UK and ensures the BBC remains the free-to-air home with the iconic Match of the Day at the heart of all the action.”
Attention will now focus on what the Premier League can achieve for its live rights packages.
The current three-year deal that started for the 2016-17 season cost a total of £5.136bn, a 70% on the previous £3 billion deal. That increase is not expected to be matched though analysts are projecting a smaller 5-7% increase – still a significant amount on what was an astonishing price achieved at the time.
Streaming services Amazon and Netflix, plus social media giants Facebook and Twitter all have the financial power to take the rights on, but even for them it would be a significant commitment to building what is currently a less significant sports presence on the their platforms.
Sky paid £4.176 billion to show 126 matches, including the first Friday evening games and both Sunday packages, while BT paid £960 million for 42 games. Under the new deal the Premier League has opened up a new Saturday night 7.45pm kick off time for live matches. In total, the UK rights packages cover 200 live matches.
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