BT and ITV in Talks to Broadcast Terrestrial Premier League Games
News has emerged that BT - who recently secured rights to air 38 Premier League games next season - are in talks with ITV to broadcast a proportion of their Premier League games on terrestrial television.
BT outbid ESPN, and everyone else, for the right to broadcast one of the seven available Premier League packages. Sky retains the right to broadcast 116 games a season.
The deal is a massive windfall for the league. The total domestic rights alone amount to £3.018bn, a considerable £1.25bn increase on the previous 3-year agreement.
BT secured the rights to 38 games a season for £246m a year. Crucially BT have first choice on 18, nearly half, of their games, each year over the course of the contract. BT will launch a dedicated football channel on their BT Vision service. Most of BT’s games will be broadcast Saturday at noon with ten mid-week games included in the package.
News that BT are in talks with ITV to broadcast some of those games, and produce the coverage, indicate a potentially major shakeup in the coverage of football in the UK.
Some analysts have indicated that BT may have overpaid for their package. Despite the telecommunications company apparently bidding for even more games.
This news can be taken as an indication that BT are attempting to offset some of the massive costs of the enterprise. BT executives will also be hoping to use increased exposure, in a deal with ITV, to highlight the value of their product and tempt more customers to purchase a BT Vision package.
It comes as a threat to the near monopoly enjoyed by the 39% Rupert Murdoch owned BSkyB.
The relationship between Sky and the Premier League has, more than any other factor, contributed to the success of both parties. The Premier League without Sky would be much poorer. And vice-versa.
It is unclear as yet how these talks will pan out. But there are television executives, at Sky, BT and elsewhere, who will be observing these talks very closely indeed. The outcome of which could radically alter the way we watch football.
blog comments powered by