Sky and BT are once again the big winners in the battle to secure the UK broadcasting rights to Premier League football, but there remains an opportunity for US tech giants to pounce.
The new accord, which will run from 2019-2022, is worth £4.464bn, but only accounts for five of the seven available packages.
As of now, the total is slightly lower than the 2015-19 deal, which brought in £5.14bn. However, it is likely to surpass that figure once the final two packages have been sold.
Package F (featuring 20 matches from one bank holiday programme and one midweek fixture programme) and package G (20 matches from two midweek fixture programmes) are still up for grabs, with neither BT, nor Sky, planning a bid.
Open goal for tech giants?
BT and Sky reportedly opting out leaves the door open for the likes of Amazon, Facebook or perhaps even Netflix to snap up some of the live action. Recent speculation has suggested one of the firms is willing to make a big splash and shake up the scene in the UK.
Both Facebook and Amazon have experimented with live sports in the past, with the former latter splashing out $50m on NFL Thursday Night Football games during the 2017 season.
If the tech firms do jump in, there might be an opportunity for UK fans to watch at least some live games without paying BT or Sky. Amazon offered the NFL streams to Amazon Prime members at home and abroad, for example.
In terms of the traditional broadcasting partners, not a great deal will change moving forward. BT will only show 32 live games on Saturdays at 12:30. That’s package A and has cost BT £895m in total.
Sky has taken all of the other packages, including Package C which includes 24 games at 14:00 on Sunday and eight Saturday night games, kicking off at 19:45.
Sky has also won Package D, which includes Monday night games and Friday night games. It has also retained the rights to the Sunday 16:30 kick offs and eight more Sunday 14:00 kick offs.
Overall, Sky is actually paying £199m less than it did in 2015 (£4.176bn), but will have the rights to broadcast two more games per season (126 in 2015, vs 128 in 2019) when the new accord kicks in.
Fans can look forward to 32 additional live games a season as a result of the new deal. Unfortunately, not a single one will be on free-to-air television.
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