Premier League clubs are calling for more than 200 fixtures to be aired on live UK television in a bid to maximise the value of the league’s broadcast agreements with Sky and BT ahead of the upcoming tender process.
The proposal was put forward by clubs at the annual shareholders meeting yesterday (8 June) where the next broadcast deal for the 2016-19 rights were discussed.
According to reports in the Telegraph, clubs want to make more than 200 of the 380 games played throughout the season available in the tender process.
The changes would represent a major increase on the league’s current deal which was agreed two years ago and saw Sky and BT pay £5.14bn for the live rights to 168 matches each season between 2016-19.
Several clubs are believed to be in favour of increasing the number of games available for sale. Last month Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan spoke at the Telegraph Business of Sport conference where he said a failure to do so risked a crash in the broadcast rights market comparable to the 2008 global financial crisis.
Jordan also touched on the league’s commercial ambitions and compared it to the film industry.
“Well, the X-Men movie franchise is £10bn, so let’s get context about how big this business really is against how big it really could be,” he said.
In 2014 Ofcom launched a near two-year long investigation into the tender process for Premier League live broadcast rights following a complaint by Virgin Media that the proportion of live games made available was lower than some other leading European leagues, contributing to higher prices for consumers.
At the close of its investigation in August, Ofcom said it had taken into account the Premier League’s "decent decision to increase the number of matches available for live broadcast in the UK".