The bidding war for the US rights to the Premier League continues to take more twists and turns. Originally, the deadline for broadcasters to submit bids during the auction was Monday, November 8. A decision was expected to be reached on Thursday, November 11. But the Premier League has now decided that the bidding will go to a second round. The new deadline is Thursday, November 18. A final decision will be announced shortly thereafter.
While the final decision is not up to us, we offer a poll below to have you cast your vote. Who do you want to win the next rights deal? Whomever the Premier League selects will have the rights from the 2022/23 through 2027/28 seasons.
According to Sports Business Journal, the six US media companies involved in the bidding are (in no specific order):
- NBC Sports
A combined bid from CBS and ESPN
All of the above choices seem straightforward, except one. WarnerMedia’s inclusion could go down one of two paths. Firstly, HBO Max is looking to add sports programming. Recently, WarnerMedia signed a seven-year deal with the National Hockey League to broadcast live hockey games. So, soccer would be an ideal fit there, too.
Secondly, WarnerMedia is merging with Discovery. Expect the mega-merger to be ready by the middle of 2022. The plans are for the merged company, to be named Warner Bros. Discovery, to combine HBO Max and Discovery+ in a streaming service to compete head on with Disney+. Sports would be an ideal fit. But the timing may not work for the start of the 2022/23 Premier League season in August. But it could be ready for HBO MAX, for sure.
Additionally, don’t forget that WarnerMedia can use their Bleacher Report brand to promote its coverage of soccer too.
Don’t be surprised if more twists and turns happen this coming week as broadcasters evaluate their options and consider how much they’ll bid.
*You can complete the poll anonymously without having to sign in to a Google account.
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