Key questions answered after Premier League renews TV rights deal with partners

A television camera at a Premier League match
A television camera at a Premier League match (PA Archive)
11:22am, Thu 13 May 2021
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The Premier League has agreed a new three-year domestic television rights deal with its existing partners.

Here the PA news agency examines the news, and its significance, in greater detail.

What has been announced?

The Premier League has agreed with Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and BBC Sport to renew the domestic TV deal on the same £5billion terms as the current 2019-2022 cycle through to 2025.

The league sought an exclusion order from the Government under the 1998 Competition Act in order to renew the deal, rather than hold the usual open rights tender process.

Why didn’t they hold an open tender?

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said in March he expected the Premier League's Covid-19 losses to run to almost £2billion by the end of the current season (PA Wire)

There were concerns that doing so might lead to a drop in the overall value of the rights, at a time when the value of broadcast deals globally is dropping off. It gives top-flight clubs who have lost in the region of £2billion collectively due to the pandemic some stability, and it gave the broadcasters certainty too that they would not lose out to a new platform in an open tender.

Why has the Government agreed to it in principle?

It has been convinced by the Premier League that the deal represents the best outcome for the whole of English football at a time when the sport’s finances have come under unprecedented pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League has also committed to providing an extra £100m of funding to the football pyramid over the next four years.

How much of the money leaves the Premier League?

The new deal means the league can maintain its £1.5billion commitment to the EFL and the football pyramid over the three-year cycle, plus the extra £100m over four years.

Around £440m of that £1.5bn goes to EFL clubs over the next cycle, excluding parachute payments.

How are the rights divided up?

The Premier League has sold rights to screen 200 matches a season live, the same as the current 2019-22 cycle. Sky Sports will screen 128 matches, BT 52 and Amazon 20.

The one significant change is that if a team is due to play in one of BT’s Saturday 12.30pm kick-offs but is in Champions League action the Wednesday before, the Premier League match will instead kick off at 7.45pm on a Saturday night.

What about overseas rights?

The Premier League has already done some of its deals for future cycles. In February last year a six-year deal starting in 2022 was struck for the rights in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland with the Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) which was reportedly worth £2billion, a 20 per cent increase on the existing arrangement.

In December last year its strong anti-piracy record helped it to renew its agreement with beIN SPORTS in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region from 2022 to 2025 on the same terms as the current deal – understood to be around £350million in total.

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