Pay TV providers BT and Sky have agreed to hand over a total of £4.464bn for the rights to show Premier League football games for a further three years from the 2019/2020 season.
The two firms have been locked in a battle over sports rights since 2015 when they paid a massive £5.136bn for Premier League TV rights.
Under this new deal Sky has agreed to fork up £3.57bn for three years (a comparative bargain, considering that's 14% cheaper than the previous deal) to give Sky Sports subscribers access to all first-pick weekend and Saturday evening matches. Overall it’s getting the rights to 128 games per season.
“We continue to invest in content that our customers value and which complements our strategy to broaden our offer" said Sky UK CEO Stephan van Rooyen. "Not only do we remain the home of Premier League football but also the home of top quality drama, entertainment, comedy and other sports. Our disciplined approach means we continue to have the flexibility to invest in each of these areas as we choose, underlining our position as Europe’s largest investor in content.”
BT is paying £295m a season for 32 matches, to be shown on its BT Sport service on Saturday evenings until August 2019, when the broadcasts will move to Saturday lunchtimes.
CEO of BT's Consumer Division, Marc Allera, said: "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. BT Sport is enjoyed by over five million households and pubs and clubs across the UK. We are excited about the opportunity to bring this great content to even more TV and mobile customers as we pursue our strategy of being the best provider of converged network services in the UK.”
If you fancy getting your hands on some Premier League rights and have a few billion kicking around there are still two live packages up for grabs, but you might be going up against some tough competition; the bidders are rumoured to include Amazon, Facebook and Netflix.