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Premier League set for ‘imminent’ closure of domestic rights process

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore has said the top division of English club football is set to finalise its next set of domestic rights with the “imminent” sale of the final two packages available.

In February, pay-television broadcaster Sky retained the bulk of live domestic rights to the Premier League, with the award of contracts signifying a reversal in the trend of sky-rocketing fees from recent tenders, albeit with two packages left on the table.

Incumbent rights-holders Sky, and pay-television rival BT Sport, secured five of the seven live packages on offer at a total value of £4.464bn (€5.09bn/$6.22bn). The rights are for the three seasons spanning 2019-20 to 2021-22.

At the time, the Premier League said there was interest from “multiple bidders” for the remaining two live packages in the marketplace. These are Package F, which comprises all 20 matches from one Bank Holiday and one midweek fixture programme, and Package G – all 20 matches from two midweek fixture programmes.

Scudamore has now told public-service broadcaster the BBC: “We are in the process of selling them. We have got different things we can do and we are investigating all of those.” He added: “It is imminent. It won't be long.”

UK newspaper the Daily Mail said the rights are believed to be being sold for minimal money. It added that this is likely to mean a reduction of nearly £500m in revenue from the current domestic rights agreements in place.

Scudamore added: “We are also in the middle of our global rights process as well. We are very confident that come the end of this year the rights will have gone up again for the Premier League for the three years starting 2019. They will be up and we certainly think by a decent amount and the show carries on.”

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