News International and BSkyB acquire Premier League rights

News International, the UK news publishing division of media conglomerate News Corporation, and UK pay-television broadcaster BSkyB have acquired packages for the next cycle of rights to the English Premier League, the top division of football in the country.

News International has acquired domestic rights in the UK for near-live clips of games on mobile and internet platforms, while Sky has added to its portfolio of live rights by retaining domestic rights for delayed long-form linear broadcasts of games.

Both deals will run for three seasons, from 2013-14 to 2015-16.

News International will be able to show near-live clips of all 380 games per season. The package also includes rights to show in-game clips for all matches other than those that kick off at 3pm on Saturdays, as well as the opportunity to show extended clips of all matches on Monday mornings following a round of weekend fixtures.

The Guardian newspaper said that News International would exploit the rights across the mobile and internet versions of its newspapers, including the Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times. In the current rights cycle, from 2010-11 to 2012-13, internet company Yahoo! has the online rights while pay-television broadcaster ESPN has the mobile rights.

“This is a major breakthrough for the company, allowing us to combine our rich heritage with cutting edge technology to transform the experience we are offering our subscribers,” News International chief executive Mike Darcey said. “They will now have access to the most compelling moments in the most competitive football league in the world at a time, place and format that suits them. In a rapidly changing industry, this is an unprecedented moment and a testament to the pioneering attitude of which we can be proud. Once again we are leading the way with innovative technology, drawing on our journalistic heritage and our unrivalled world-class content.”

Sky’s deal covers 226 games per season and covers games that are not shown live on Sky or telecommunications company BT, which also acquired live domestic rights for the next three seasons.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: “These rights make available delayed long-form coverage of all Premier League matches not broadcast live and are an important part of our overall rights offering. Sky Sports has, for several seasons, used them to great effect with the successful Football First programme that will continue to make available the best Premier League action to fans across the country.”

In June, Sky acquired live domestic rights for 116 Premier League matches per season – the maximum allowed for one broadcaster through the sales process – with BT acquiring the remaining live domestic rights.

Sky is 39.1% owned by News Corporation.