Sky can ‘absorb’ increased Premier League costs, says Francis

UK pay-television broadcaster BSkyB will be able to absorb the “bulk of the costs” incurred by the huge increase in its rights fee for live coverage of the English Premier League from the start of next season, according to managing director Barney Francis.

Sky agreed to pay £760 million (€950 million/$1.23 billion) per year for 116 matches per season for three years, from 2013-14 to 2015-16, up from £541 million per year for 115 games per campaign in the current three-year cycle, from 2010-11 to 2012-13.

“You would expect us to build some inflation into our financial planning and we have flexibility to absorb the bulk of these costs,” Francis said. “But it is a challenge for the whole company and choices have to be made. I can’t tell you about the pricing structure but we have absorbed a lot of that cost. That’s not necessarily less money for other sports but we have to tighten our belts on some of those.”