BBC extends Premier League rights deal

UK public-service broadcaster the BBC has today (Tuesday) extended its highlights rights for the Premier League, the top division of English club football, in a deal worth £211.5m (€241.1m/$294.8m).

The BBC will remain the free-to-air home for the Premier League under the three-season extension, which will run from 2019-20 to 2021-22. The Premier League said the rights were awarded following an “open and competitive process”.

As well as the iconic Match Of The Day programme, the new deal covers the weekend programming of the Sunday morning Match Of The Day repeat, MOTD2, Football Focus, plus midweek magazine show The Premier League Show through to and including the 2021-22 season.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “To keep Premier League highlights on the BBC is testament to the continued success and popularity of Match Of The Day. Our longstanding partnership with the Premier League continues to flourish and evolve as seen with the recently launched Super Movers initiative. The new deal strengthens that relationship even further and ensures the nation's favourite sport will continue to be seen by the widest possible audience.”

Premier League executive chairman, Richard Scudamore, added: “People engage with the Premier League in so many different ways yet Match Of The Day continues to go from strength to strength, remaining extremely popular with more than seven million tuning in every weekend.”

The Premier League’s live domestic broadcast rights are currently on the market. A total of 200 live football matches per season were made available through seven packages outlined in a tender document issued by the Premier League last month for the next cycle of domestic rights.

The total figure, which will apply to each of the three seasons from 2019-20 to 2021-22, represents an increase from the 168 games per campaign that are currently broadcast live by pay-television broadcasters Sky and BT Sport.

Earlier this year, the league assured the UK’s media regulator, Ofcom, that it would make at least half of the total of 380 games per season available to domestic audiences in the next cycle. The extra live fixtures will be available through three rounds of midweek games and one round of Bank Holiday fixtures.

The next cycle will also include entire rounds of Premier League matches being shown live for the first time, but no single buyer will be allowed to acquire more than 148 matches per season.