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Premier League considers live Sunday night rights package – report

The English Premier League is considering shifting more games from the traditional Saturday 3pm kick-off slot in the next cycle of rights, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.

The UK newspaper said that the league might offer a new package of rights for Sunday evening games by increasing the number of matches available on a live basis.

The number of live matches increased from 138 to 154 in the current cycle, but the report said that increasing the number again could raise an extra £600m (€752m/$962m) for the league.

Increasing the number of games on offer per season would also help the league’s current domestic live rights-holders, pay-television broadcasters BSkyB and BT Sport. Sky currently shows 116 games per season and BT Sport broadcasts 38 matches per year. BT Sport is expected to target an increase in the number of matches in the next tender, while Sky is determined not to lose any games.

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson has previously described the idea of an extra eighth package of rights covering Sunday evenings as “very interesting.” He added: “If there were more games available we would be very interested.”

The next rights cycle will run for three years, from 2016-17 to 2018-19. The packages are expected to be put on the market “around the New Year,” the report added.