Sky and BT retain Premier League rights in £4.46bn deal

Premier League rights still on the table

Sky and BT have signed deals worth a combined £4.46bn to show 160 live Premier League football matches for three seasons from 2019-20.

Despite persistent speculation that new players such as Amazon, Facebook or Netflix would disrupt the market, the two incumbent broadcasters have maintained their grip on the domestic rights, taking five of the seven packages available.

There is still the possibility of a digital platform winning some matches, however, as two packages totalling 40 games remain unsold and the Premier League said “multiple bidders" have expressed an interest in acquiring them.

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said: "We are extremely pleased that BT and Sky continue to view the Premier League and our clubs as such an important part of their offering.

"We will now continue the sales process to deliver the best possible outcome for the remaining packages of rights in the UK and throughout the rest of the world."

So far Sky has committed £3.579bn to take the dominant share of 128 games, two more than in its current deal, while BT has acquired 32 per season at a cost of £885m.

Sky is saving around £200m a season on what it pays now, while BT is paying less in total than the £960m it shelled out in the previous auction but more per game.

BT could yet pick up some of the outstanding packages, saying in a statement that it "will continue to engage with the Premier League regarding the remaining rights".

It added that it had remained "financially disciplined" during the auction and pointed to the landmark cross-supply deal it signed with Sky in December which spared either of the media giants from having to engage in a high-stakes bidding war with one another.

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