No Amazon bid as Sky & BT renew Premier League rights

Stoke 1-1 Brighton                                       Stoke 1-1 Brighton

The telecoms firm brought the other package on offer in the auction round, shifting its Saturday slot of 5.30pm to 32 games at a new time of 12.30pm.

Sky is saving around £200m a season on what it pays now, while BT is paying less in total than the £960m it shelled out in the previous auction but more per game.

"Their enthusiasm for the two remaining packages, which were created to appeal to streaming players, is apparently not as high as the Premier League had hoped, with the reserve prices reportedly not met".

With no single bidder able to buy more than 148 of the 200 games a season, Sky can only bid for one of the two remaining 20-game packages.

The battle between BT and Sky reached new heights in 2015 after Sky spent around £1.392bn and BT splashed out £320m per season on a major Premier League TV football rights deal for the 2016/17 to 2018/19 seasons (here).

Austin Houlihan, director in Deloitte's sports business group, said that the value of live TV rights "will remain at a very healthy premium compared to those for any other football league from 2019 through to 2022", and that money can be ploughed back into talent and stadium improvements.

The London market was on the rise this morning as Sky and BT climbed higher after keeping hold of Premier League television rights.

Sky paid more last time to preserve its dominant payTV position in the United Kingdom against the serious competition of BT, which was bidding to establish its own subscription television service, to also support its commercial broadband ambitions.

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However, Simon Leaf, a sports lawyer at Mishcon de Reya, said tech giants such as Amazon or Facebook could still be in line to win the remaining packages of 20 games per season.

In total BT will show 32 Saturday games per season, down from 42 now, and will pay £295m per season, down from the £320m it agreed last time.

It will, though, have the rights to 128 matches, two more than under the current deal, and has bought every weekend "first pick" of matches and the most coveted kick-off times.

The bubble hasn't exactly burst for domestic rights to show Premier League games but maybe a ceiling has been hit in terms of the value of matches.

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".

Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore was pleased with the amount he'd managed to secure despite it being less than the previous deal that was worth £5.14bn.

"Of course, the physical demands on players is not restricted to the top leagues, as we very well know given the festive period we've just had in non-league football".

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