EPL to boost TV matches in bumper deal
The Premier League will make dozens more games available in its next TV rights auction as clubs target an increase on the huge £5 billion ($6.7 billion) deal they secured last time, a report said Friday.
Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper said for the first time entire rounds of Premier League matches would be shown live and football would go head-to-head with popular entertainment programmes on Saturday evenings.
Four full rounds of Premier League games will reportedly be up for grabs — three midweek rounds of fixtures and a programme on a public holiday.
The Telegraph said the league had issued the tender document for TV rights to fixtures for three seasons from 2019-20 and 200 of the league’s 380 matches would be available — 42 more than at present.
The commitment to not showing any live games between 2:45 pm and 5:15 pm on Saturdays continues, aimed at protecting attendances for lower-league football.
The past two sales of domestic rights have seen 70 percent increases in their value, taking the total to £5.1 billion for the current three-year deal, with Sky Sports showing the lion’s share of matches and BT Sport also broadcasting a chunk of games.
The auction, reportedly set for February, comes at a time of increasing speculation that the likes of Amazon and Facebook could make a serious foray into football broadcasting.
Amazon beat Sky in the race for ATP Tour tennis rights in Britain and has struck a deal for British rights to the US Open but indications are that the auction for Premier League rights may come too soon for the internet giants .