Sky and BT win Premier League TV rights: what it means for pubs

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Saturation point?: The overall amount paid in the most recent round of Premier League rights bidding falls short of that paid in 2015.
Saturation point?: The overall amount paid in the most recent round of Premier League rights bidding falls short of that paid in 2015.

Related tags: Premier league, Uefa champions league

After a five day auction, Sky and BT Sport have agreed to pay £4.464bn to broadcast Premier League matches for three seasons from 2019/20 after five of the seven available packages were awarded.

The total sum paid so far is still a little short of the £5.136bn paid for rights in the 2015 auction, though 42 more matches are available to broadcast per season.

Bidding for two remaining packages is ongoing with interest from “multiple bidders” according to the Premier League. Speculation remains that online giants​ such as Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Netflix have shown interest in the remaining rights for midweek and bank holiday fixtures​ and may compete for the remaining packages.

Rights packages awarded

Package A – 32 matches – Saturday 12.30pm (BT Sport)

Package B – 32 matches – Saturday 5.30pm (Sky Sports)

Package C – 24 matches – Sunday 2pm and 8 matches – Saturday 7.45pm (Sky Sports)

Package D – 32 matches – Sunday 4.30pm (Sky Sports)

Package E – 24 matches – Monday 8.00pm or Friday 7.30pm-8.00pm and 8 matches – Sunday 2pm (Sky Sports)

Package F – All 20 matches – from one Bank Holiday and one midweek fixture programme (Available)

Package G – All 20 matches from two midweek fixture programmes (Available)

Sky Sports increases number of matches

As it stands, Sky Sports will offer pubs and clubs the most matches of bidding broadcasters from 2019.

The broadcaster took four of the seven available rights packages meaning that it will increase the number of live games it shows from 126 matches currently to 128.

Sky Sports will show 32 Saturday tea-time matches at 5.30pm, Saturday evening matches at 7.45pm for the first time, as well as Super Sunday, Monday night football and Friday night football.

As it stands, the broadcaster will pay £9.3m per game, a decrease on the £11m per game paid in the 2015 auction.

Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis commented: “Sky Sports customers will continue to enjoy unrivalled Premier League coverage through to 2022 with 128 live matches a season from next year - including the key head to heads in the best slots and, of course, analysis from the biggest names in football.

“This comes on the back of recent renewals for EFL, England cricket and exclusivity for F1​, all of which will be available to our customers until 2024.”

Sky Business managing director David Rey added: “This is an excellent outcome for our customers.  We continue to invest in the sport that matters most to pubs and clubs, and their customers. 

“This new deal means Sky remains the home of the Premier League and provides our customers with even more opportunities to drive footfall into their venues.”

BT Sport increase spend per match 

BT paid £885m to broadcast 32 games per season from the 2019/20 campaign compared to the £960m paid for 42 live games in 2015, however the previous deal worked out at £7.6m per game whereas they will pay £9.2m per game under the new package.

BT Sport will continue to show games at 5.30pm on Saturdays in the 2018/19 season, before moving to Saturday lunchtime fixtures from August 2019 when the new rights packages come into play.

Bruce Cuthbert, director commercial customers at BT Sport, commented: “The Premier League is undoubtedly the most competitive and exciting domestic league in the world, so we’re delighted that our customers will be able to continue enjoying Saturday games on BT Sport.    

“The Premier League will continue to be a big part of our live sport line-up, which includes exclusively live UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, the Emirates FA Cup, boxing, Aviva Premiership rugby and European Rugby Champions Cup.

“We know our customers value big Premier League games which attract customers into their venue.  This new deal means that we will be able to show some of the best games of the weekend every Saturday lunchtime.”

The Premier League auction remains ongoing and BT will continue to engage with the Premier League regarding the remaining rights.

Useful early footfall drivers

MatchPint co-founder Dom Collingwood commented: "Basically, the biggest and best games will be on Sky who have every first round pick already bought. BT - for now - are limiting their offer to the Saturday lunchtime kick offs which, for pubs at least, are useful early weekend footfall drivers.

 "What happens with the final two packages (comprising 3 midweek rounds and a bank holiday) is intriguing. Sky cannot win more than 20 more matches due to limits imposed on single broadcasters, leaving three options. One, BT takes at least 20 more matches; two, Amazon dip their toe in the water with a limited selection of matches or they go unsold.

"Until the outcome is know, it's difficult to say what - if anything - will really change."

Related topics: Sport

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