FOX Sports and ESPN will not submit a joint bid for the Premier League US TV rights this summer for the 2016-19 cycle, according to a report today in SportsBusiness Daily.
The TV networks expected to bid for the prestigious Premier League rights are incumbent NBC Sports, FOX Sports and ESPN, while beIN SPORTS could be interested in bidding.
The other development is that the Premier League is considering dividing the Premier League rights into 2 or 3 separate packages. If the Premier League moves forward with this plan, the TV networks in the United States would be able to bid on the different packages available (much like the Premier League TV rights in England) and we could have a situation where 2-3 major sports broadcasters in the United States would televise the Premier League for 2016-19.
However, as Sports Business Daily notes, NBC Sports is interested in a package where they would have the exclusive rights to the Premier League.
The Premier League have not yet decided how many packages to offer for bidding this summer.
By having an all-or-nothing one package, the Premier League has the opportunity to create a bidding war to generate higher revenues for its 20 clubs as opposed to a 2-3 package deal where broadcasters could bid less for a “slice of the pie.” However, the 2-3 package deal could increase the amount of distribution of games across US television and generate greater awareness for clubs when they come on future tours to the States.
It’s expected that the interested networks will hold formal talks with the Premier League in May before the bidding is finalized in June.