English Premier League to show Saturday night games in new £4.464 billion deal
The Premier League will show Saturday night games between 2019-2022 as Sky and BT purchase five of the seven TV packages for £4.464 billion.
There was a time when it was a religion. Sir Alex Ferguson was my God. It was the one thing I was good at as a child. I roamed the midfield like a hungry tiger, gnawing at a shinbone; Achilles heel; patella.
Sunday afternoons were a horrid nightmare. The peaks of your crazy kitten smile turned downward as you tried to fight off the feeling of impending doom that greeted school on Monday morning. Sunday dinner. The veg. Songs of Praise. Last of the Summer Wine.
But there was always football.
Until my Dad would come home from the pub and tell me to ‘turn that crap off.’
It’s not a religion.
Sir Alex Ferguson has moved into the stands, and I don’t watch a single game because I can’t afford it.
From the moment the Premier League broke away from the rest of the ruffians, terrestrial TV viewing of the game that was once mightier than anything vanished like a candle flame squeezed between two spit laced digits.
So what do I do now?
I work, and I watch Netflix. For less than a tenner, I get all the entertainment I want. And so I was excited to learn that Netflix (and Amazon and Facebook and Twitter) were considering bidding for one of seven live Premier League packages due to kick-off in 2019 and end in 2022.
It hasn’t happened yet, but there is still time.
Sky and BT Continue to Dominate The Live Football Landscape
The Premier League has sold five of the seven packages for a combined profit of £4.464 billion, once again making the league the richest in the footballing world.
Once again, Sky and BT have a duopoly on the action.
Here are the details:
Package A – 32 matches on Sat at 12:30 (BT)
Package B – 32 matches on Sat at 17:30 (Sky)
Package C – 24 matches on Sun at 14:00, and eight on Sat at 19:45 (Sky)
Package D – 32 matches on Sun at 16:30 (Sky)
Package E – 24 matches on Mon or Fri night, eight on Sun at 14:00 (BT)
Package F – 20 matches from midweek fixtures & 1 x BH*
Package G – 20 matches from midweek fixtures*
Critically, Sky gets to choose first each weekend, leaving BT hoping the Premier League fixture list is kind to them, so they avoid showing the scraps.
For the first time since the Premier League began they will treat fans to a Saturday night live match kicking off at 19:45. Sky will show those games.
Sky remains the market leader with 128 matches, and BT Sports has 32. The amount paid is down slightly on the record £5.14 billion that ends with this current season, but that gap will close once the Premier League deals with non-UK countries conclude. China, for example, is rumoured to have paid £700m for their content, ten times more than they are currently dishing out.
Sky is paying £3,579bn per season, or £9.3m per game down from £10.8m. BT is paying £295m per season, £9.22m per match, up from £7.6m. In 2015, Sky paid £4.176bn for 126 games, and BT paid £960m for 42 games.
While Netflix remains a strong entertainment provider, the recent deal shows that live sporting action can compete against House of Cards, Game of Thrones, etc. One of the primary reasons, a Netflix hasn’t yet joined the fray is because the deal is restricted to UK viewing only, and Netflix is a global giant.
With Sky already purchasing 126 matches, they can only buy one of the two remaining midweek packages. The Premier League still harbours hope that a third entity will come in to spice things up, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
With the Premier League TV rights nearly secured, league officials can begin communicating with the broadcasters and 20 Premier League teams to introduce the long awaited Winter break.
What, no football on TV at Christmas!
Oh, yeah, I don’t have a TV.
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