BBC pays small increase to renew Premier League highlights

UK public-service broadcaster the BBC renewed its highlights rights for English Premier League matches for three seasons, 2013-14 to 2015-16, in a deal worth £179.7 million (€222 million/$285 million), up 3.9 per cent on the £173 million it pays in the current deal.

The rights cover the Saturday evening highlights shown in the BBC’s long-running Match of the Day programme, a repeat of the programme on Sunday morning, Sunday evening highlights, and highlights programmes on other evenings whenever league fixtures justify them.

The Saturday and Sunday night programmes will be available on the BBC’s internet catch-up service iPlayer from midnight on Mondays.

“The free-to-air highlights are extremely important to the broadcast reach of the Premier League; allowing the competition and our clubs to be seen by the maximum possible number of fans across the country,” said Richard Scudamore, the Premier League’s chief executive.

“The BBC has done a fantastic job for fans of Premier League clubs by providing quality coverage and analysis across their programmes.

“We are very pleased to be continuing our partnership with them.”

Barbara Slater, the BBC’s director of sport, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the TV highlights will continue to be available to licence fee payers. We’ve seen audiences for MOTD [Match of the Day] grow in recent years and the programme remains one of the BBC’s best-loved and most iconic brands. The new contract will see MOTD celebrate its 50th birthday and extend coverage to the end of the 2015-16 season.”