BT Group (LON:BT.A) and Sky (LON:SKY) will pay less for Premier League matches, having snapped up the rights to the majority of live games for £4.46 billion. However, the auction is still ongoing with two of the seven packages still yet to be decided, leaving open the possibility of a bid from one of the digital giants such as Amazon.
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.
While Sky are big financial winners in the new domestic deal, BT Sport, the relatively new kids on the block, had to agree to pay £9.2 million, up from £7.6 million, for one package of 32 games.
Following the outcome of the recent Premier League auction, from 2019 ( ) will show more matches than ever before, with the biggest matches in the best slots sitting alongside an ever broader offering of drama, entertainment and comedy. Sky paid £1.392 billion per annum for each of the three years of the new agreement, representing an 83% increase over the cost of the previous contract.
BT Sport has won the rights to broadcast 32 matches per season on a Saturday at 12:30.
What is this new Premier League TV deal and when does it come into affect? BT will show Saturday lunchtime games.
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Commenting on the reduced £3.579bn the company is paying for its four prime packages, Stephen van Rooyen, Sky's United Kingdom chief executive, said they had taken a "disciplined approach".
Still up for grabs are packages F and G, which consist of 20 matches from one Bank Holiday and one midweek fixture programme, and 20 matches from two midweek fixture programmes respectively.
Sky Sports will remain the dominant broadcaster for the Premier League until at least May 2022. "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".
Premier League soccer has always been key to attract and retain TV and broadband subscribers and the cost of the United Kingdom rights has surged 30-fold over the past 25 years.
"Securing more games at a lower cost is a major coup, and with BT seemingly content to play second fiddle on the Premier League, that rivalry now looks to have thawed".
Given the confirmation from BT of what they will pay for the new package, it means Sky's outlay will be £3.579bn, which works out at £9.3m per game.