BT was ‘prepared to spend £2 billion’ on Premier League rights

Telecommunications company BT was prepared to spend in excess of £2 billion (€2.5 billion/$3.1 billion) over three years in a bid to end pay-television broadcaster BSkyB’s dominance of live English Premier League football rights, according to The Guardian.

The newspaper said BT had board clearance to bid “somewhere north of £2 billion if necessary” on all seven domestic Premier League rights packages.

BT’s emergence in the Premier League’s tender for the three seasons from 2013-14 to 2015-16 led to a 70-per-cent increase in the total UK live rights income. The telco eventually secured two of the seven packages, paying a total of £246 million per year.

Sky acquired the other five packages, comprising 116 matches per season – the maximum permitted for any one company – for £760 million per season, to remain the league’s primary live UK rights-holder.