BSkyB Retains Majority of TV Rights to Premier League On UK TV For 2013-16

Breaking news: Sky Sports has won the bidding for the majority TV rights to the Premier League for seasons 2013-16 on UK television.

During a Premier League press conference today, the league announced that Sky Sports won the majority of the TV rights. Sky Sports will show 116 matches per season. BT will show 38 games, while ESPN UK and Al Jazeera will show none.

Incredibly, the amount of money that the Premier League will receive for TV rights to 2012-13 will be £3 billion — an increase of £1.2 billion from the last UK rights deal. That’s an increase of 82%.

The Sunday 4pm BST timeslot has traditionally been saved for the best game of the week, usually featuring one of the top six teams in the Premier League. The TV rights to the Premier League on UK TV were split in several different packages for interested parties to bid on.

Sky Sports has been broadcasting the Premier League to UK TV viewing audiences since the launch of the league in 1992. In its first contract with the Premier League, Sky paid £304 million for the TV rights over five seasons.

ESPN UK has been providing coverage of the Premier League since 2009. The American broadcaster has TV rights to show 23 matches through the end of the 2012-13 season.

Bidding for the TV rights to the Premier League on US television for seasons 2013-2016 will conclude later this summer or early fall.

35 thoughts on “BSkyB Retains Majority of TV Rights to Premier League On UK TV For 2013-16”

  1. BT have got some great 1st pick games with the packages they’ve won. They will end up with some massive head to heads

    1. I think it is close to have of the 1st picks (its 20 for Sky, 18 for BT, I think). They have all midweek/holiday first picks, I believe. Certainly some big matches in there. I’d think Sky will use their first picks wisely though.

      1. Yes those 1st picks are correct. I posted a full list of package details earlier on today on another thread on here detailing from A – G.

        The key for Sky is that along with their 1st picks they also get the 2nd picks and so on. Another big issue for when the likes of Liverpool v Man U, Liverpool v Everton etc arise is if they’re scheduled on a Europa League week because Liverpool will be playing Thursday nights next season and will be required to play Sunday/Monday instead of Saturday… this would be impossible for BT to use it as one of their 12.45 Saturday 1st picks.

        Sky have got the better deal because they have more on offer in total over the course of a season but for BT to come out of nowhere and take almost half of the available 1st pick games it really is quite incredible. Nobody… and I mean nobody… saw it coming! Everybody was fooled into thinking it was have automatically been Al Jazeera who were the mystery bidder forcing it into a second round! Crazy

        1. I am still shocked that NONE of the media on Fleet Street or in the City of London (i.e. Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, CNBC Europe, Bloomberg UK) had sources at BT.

          Literally no one saw BT coming, including ESPN EMEA Limited, which got blindsided.

          One logical move is for ESPN EMEA Limited to sell the assets of ESPN UK (mostly programming rights contracts) to BT.

          ESPN UK did not have much infrastructure to begin with, as it contracted video production to IMG Sports Media, both studio production and remote production.

  2. 3 Billion???? split among 20 teams? expect transfer price tags to go up. Still, that is a staggering amount. I think Al Jazeera getting involved forced the price up. I hoped ESPN got more games because then we wouldn’t need any subscription.
    Dunno why Sky doesn’t follow the american model(non subscription tv). Revenues would be even higher.

    1. We will never find out for sure but it’s highly unlikely that Al Jazeera actually bid on any of the packages. It was originally reported on Friday afternoon that the bidding had been forced to a second round (for every package) because somebody totally new had entered the bidding in an ‘aggressive manner’ – instinctively everybody thought it was Al Jazeera when in reality it was British Telecom. They managed to fool everybody!

      As for if ESPN will survive now… doubtful. If they want any chance of survival they’ll have to drop down into the same package as Eurosport. No way they can charge a monthly stand-alone fee now.

  3. Bad news for ESPNUK…and possibly for the now and again bonus of Monday games on ESPNUS from the ESPNUK feed which were very enjoyable especially with Rebecca Lowe 😉
    BT expected to launch pay tv channel now in UK, wonder how that will affect US coverage if any Gaffer?

    1. It won’t affect US coverage in any way at all because your coverage is completely separate to ours. You get a clean feed of the same pictures and that’s about it.

    2. Relax.

      Rebecca Lowe had been through this before when Setanta Sports UK folded.

      She simply walked across the street (with the rest of the band) and signed with ESPN UK.

      I won’t be surprised if she were to do the same thing again and walk across the street to sign with BT Sport.

      (Rebecca is doing some work for ESPN US during Euro 2012. Viewers in the U.S. can’t get enough of her.)

      1. Don’t forget that the new deal doesn’t come into play until after the upcoming season so nothing changes until the 2013/14 season. By that time, ESPN could well be out of the action in the US market as well… beIN Sport anybody? 😉

  4. I remember posting about how undervalued the Premier league is compared with other major sports leagues, it’s about time they realized how much the brand is worth. lets hope they get a better international package too. I think its great news for the english game, fiscal security more likely for the clubs.

    1. BBC signed a new 3-year deal for Match of the Day the other week as well. I think they get to show it on more midweek and bank holiday matchdays as part of the new terms.

  5. Is the ESPN deal related to the US showing the games ? So ESPN losing the UK rights, will that effect the ESPN games shown in the US ?

    1. There’s no impact to the US. The only slight impact is that after the 2012-13 season, we won’t get any of the studio footage from ESPN UK.

      The Gaffer

      1. Doesn’t ESPN UK produce ESPN US’s coverage though? If ESPN UK shuts down, then it is possible it could have some effect on ESPN US.

        1. I haven’t read anything about ESPN UK shutting down. They simply didn’t pick up any of the Premier League matches in this go-round, just like here in the States where ESPN may not bid or get outbid on any particular sport. ESPN UK broadcasts and reports on a variety of sports just as they do here. However, all ESPN US’s matches are merely sub-leases from Fox.

          1. They haven’t said anything about closing down their UK channels because they’ve got another full season with 23 Premier League games to go but after that I think it’ll happen. The UK sports TV market is fierce at the best of times and without the crown jewel of live Premier League matches they’re going to find it nigh on impossible to keep subscribers just for European league games that don’t have mass appeal in the UK. They’ve got FA Cup and Europa League games too but they’re not the ‘best’ picks either… ITV1 and ITV4 have the 1st pick matches on a free-to-air basis.

            Add into the mix the fact Sky have announced their prices will be rising, along with a subscription fee for the new BT Sport channel and it looks pretty gloomy for ESPN to carry on. You’re looking at no less than £23 a month for Sky Sports, anywhere up to £10 for BT plus for Sky platform subscribers you have to pay currently £20 for the basic package before you can add the sports so that’s a bare minimum £53 just for sports before the ESPN subscription will be added on top.

            The only way they can survive is by offering their channel in a basic entertainment tier alongside the likes of Eurosport but I don’t think they’ll be interested in doing that and becoming a ‘niche’ channel when they’ve got far bigger things going on elsewhere in the world. They’ve got their head screwed on because they could have easily bid higher amounts and won live Premier League matches for 2013-16 but they didn’t want to pay over the value like Sky and BT have. Instead, they’ve stuck to their word and said they’d rather just walk away than spend silly money in a bidding war just so they can say they’ve got live games.

  6. How does that UK only deal stack up against the global deal wk being told is what keeps the league going? Thank God I don’t subscribe to Sky. A season ticket is still the best way to see your football.

    It’d be interesting to trail the money and see where it all drains to.

    1. The UK domestic television deal has always earned the league more money than what the rest of the world pays combined.

      Contrary to popular belief, the Premier League is a non-profit organisation – all the money brought in from broadcasting goes straight back to the clubs. It’s how they buy and sell players, pay player wages etc. For example, the domestic income from Sky and BT from 2013 will (so in this case £3 billion) be awarded as follows:

      50% shared equally between all 20 clubs
      25% awarded in facility fees (teams being shown live on television)
      25% awarded as a merit payment (more money the higher you finish in the table)

      Everything brought in from international broadcasting is split equally between all 20 clubs. It’s a very good way to run a league… La Liga could learn a thing or two!

    1. I think they will do this time around. Previously though, the UK deal has always been by far superior but this time I have a feeling the rest of the world will spend bigger this time. Al Jazeera want dominance in the Middle East and will be taking on ADMC, beIN Sport want it in the States so will be taking on Fox… it’s going to be fun watching all the deals fall into place this time around. Going to take something really special to beat the shock of BT coming along from nowhere though!

      1. oh..Hey Paul I wanted to say thanks for taking Brendon Rodgers, now we have fired Harry, I’ll have to settle for either AVB, Martinez, Capello, Moyes or some one else.. thanks Liverpool! Damn it! :)

        1. Ha it was a pleasure! Brendan is all ours now and we’re quite happy with him thanks 😉

          I think Moyes is a good shout for you lot! You don’t want AVB, don’t want Capello, definitely don’t want Martinez… you could pick far worse than Moyes. Sad to see Harry go though because I’ve always really liked him.

          1. I think you may have read me post here a few times that I wasn’t happy with Harry’s constant comments of “things have never been better” and general satisfaction with 4th etc.. yes we played some great football but we have always played great football.

            Harry can’t say to Levy that the England job had nothing to do with the failure to stay in 3rd and loosing the 10 point lead over arsenal, and then say that him not having a contract could unsettle players. That makes no sense. plus I think after all the support Levy gave Harry during the whole court case thing that he expected a little more loyalty from Harry. Still he gets 3 million and Im sure another gig.

            If it is Moyes he could be the right guy…the next few days will be interesting, Im sure levy is wishing he did this earlier so he could then grab Rodgers…I know I do..

          2. Yeah I get you but at the same time you can’t be seen to say certain things in public even if you really want to. He couldn’t for a second say what we all know to be the truth – if he hadn’t been linked to the England job then his season wouldn’t have nosedived the way it did. He was on for a genuine title challenge at one point so there’s no way in this world he could be happy with how it finished up (any less than 3rd this season would be seen as a failure to me if I was a Spurs fan in all honesty!) but in public he has a duty to his club to portray it in as much positive light as possible?

            If you can get Moyes away from Everton you’ll be on for another promising season. It’ll do us a favour as well because then maybe those across Stanley Park can fall back down to the bottom half of the table and not make us look so bad by finishing above us haha :)

          3. yeah 3rd was expected, every spurs fan I know wanted Harry to go after the disastrous last 6 weeks. Allegedly Moyes played great attacking football at Preston but didn’t have the budget to get the players he wanted to play the ideal way. If he does get the gig at spurs he will walk into a very good squad even if Modric goes, Falque could step right in. You never know, Harry could go to Everton lol

            I have to say I’m quite excited about Levy’s decision to get someone with more ambition, who’s’ task will hopefully be one with the sole task of winning the league, this job will have big expectations for whomever come in

  7. ESPN has a tendency not to make bids that don’t economically make sense for them- remember they lost the US rights to the World Cup in 2018 and 2022 to Fox because they made an offer that they thought was fair yet would make money for them based on the audiences they thought they would get. Fox outbid them by about $100 million because of this.

    The one sports package ESPN in the US will massively overpay for is NFL Monday Night Football- it helps justify the fees they can charge the cable companies (because it is the highest rated program on cable television). Last year, they extended that deal to 2021- and that increased from US $1.1 Billion per year to US $1.9 Billion per year (for 17 regular season games- though in the next few years the NFL has an option to give them a wild-card playoff game, and there is a remote chance that the regular season will go from 16 to 18 games, which would mean a couple of extra weeks and thus games)..

    I wouldn’t be shocked if BT makes some sort of alliance with ESPN anyway-taking over the channel but keeping the brand name- why start from scratch if you don’t have to?

    1. Starting from scratch isn’t a big issue for BT, it’s not like nobody knows who they are. They’re very well established. They’ve already confirmed they’ll be launching a football based service that will be heavily based on interactive features (exclusive to the BT Vision platform) but the games themselves will be made available on as many platforms as possible. Likely scenario is ESPN selling their existing rights to BT, Sky and Eurosport I would imagine.

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