By Neil Halligan
UK media say Qatari broadcaster was outbid by Sky Sports and BT Sports for broadcasting rights for the 2016-19 seasons
Broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sports will share English Premier League UK broadcasting rights for the 2016-19 seasons after they paid $7.8 billion to thwart rival broadcasters’ bids, which reportedly included Qatar’s beIN Sports.
Sky won five of the seven rights packages and will pay $6.4 billion to broadcast 126 Premier League matches per season, with BT Sport paying $1.4 billion for the other 42 matches, the value on each match shown during the three-year period will be $15.5 million.
The deal represents a 70 percent increase on the current contract and has been put down to a ferocious bidding war between the various broadcasting companies. UK media outlets have widely reported that unsuccessful bids were submitted by America’s Discovery Network, which owns Eurosport, and Qatar’s beIN Sports.
Premier League chief Richard Scudamore, when asked at the press conference to announce the deals, refused to name the unsuccessful bidders.
Overseas rights to broadcast the Premier League matches will come up for auction next year, according to Scudamore. MP & Silva secured the MENA rights for Premier League on a three-year deal worth close $300 million in 2013. The rights were subsequently sold on the then Al Jazeera Sports, which subsequently became beIN Sports, for an undisclosed sum.