Fox Soccer Channel and the Premier League today announced that Fox Sports International has won the bidding for the rights to show the Premier League on US television for the 2010-2013 seasons. Fox has also won the similar rights for Central and South America to its associated company, Fox Sports Latin America.
Commenting on the announcement, David Sternberg, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of Fox Sports International, said: “We are delighted to extend our relationship with the Premier League to 2013. Together with our distribution partners across the Americas, we look forward to bringing our viewers another three action-packed seasons of the world’s most prestigious domestic soccer competition.”
Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, said: “Fox Sports has been a long term partner of the Premier League and has always provided excellent coverage for the competition. “I am sure they will continue, together with their affiliates, to showcase all the best match action across a range of programming and technologies for the benefit of our fans across the US, Central and South America.”
The news is surprising in that ESPN didn’t mount a more serious challenge to win the TV rights. Although it is very likely that Fox Sports International will license out some of the rights, as they do now, to ESPN (for the early Saturday and Monday afternoon kickoffs) as well as to Setanta Sports (for two of the Saturday 3pm GMT kickoffs, as well as the early Sunday game and midweek matches).
For Fox Soccer Channel, winning the Premier League TV rights for another three years at the same time they own the Champions League rights is a massive coup for the Los Angeles-based organization.