Sky pays the price to retain live Football League rights after outbidding BT

Sky pays the price to retain live Football League rights after outbidding BT

Sky has clung onto the rights to screen live Football League matches after seeing off a challenge from BT to enter into exclusive talks with the sporting body.

This victory has come at a cost however with Sky forced to double its outlay per season to £180m in order to hold onto the games, having agreed to a three to five-year deal valued at between £500 and £900m.

The battle augers well for the Premier League as it readies its negotiating team to wring every last penny out of Sky and BT as the two broadcasters ready to lock horns once more in a potential £6bn tussle to procure the most expensive sporting rights in the UK by year’s end.

Sky is being forced to dig ever deeper into its pockets to retain its place as a provider of cricket, golf and football, amidst fierce competition from BT, forcing it to spend £220m a year to air all international and domestic cricket in England; triple the £75m it paid under an existing deal.

Faced with ever escalating outlays Sky is being forced to choose its battles wisely, having chosen not to enter into some bidding contests having taken the view that its money would be better spent elsewhere, such as bolstering its entertainment programming, led by Sky Atlantic and a partnership with Game of Thrones maker HBO.

Sky suffered a blow last month when the BBC snatched broadcast rights for the US PGA Championship out from under its nose.

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