Premier League TV rights: Talks held over scrapping next auction

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The Premier League has held talks with broadcasters about scrapping its next domestic media rights auction.

The government is now considering whether to approve a rollover of the current £4.7bn deal.

Secured in 2018, that sale represented a 10% drop in value.

Clubs are concerned there could be another fall if the usual open-market auction begins as planned next month for the three-year cycle between 2022 and 2025.

The value of rights for domestic leagues in Europe also appears to have peaked.

Talks have been held with the existing live rights holders Sky, BT and Amazon about extending their current deals on similar terms.

Neither they, nor the Premier League, have commented.

But a rollover is now being considered on the basis it would provide all parties with stability amid uncertainties – and the loss of matchday revenue – caused by the pandemic.

However, rival broadcasters may object to being denied the right to bid, and such a move would require government approval, given concerns over competition law.

Amid continuing anger within football at the failed recent attempt by the so-called ‘big six’ Premier League clubs to launch a European Super League, and a fan-led review of the sport, ministers are understood to want assurances about the redistribution of money throughout the game, if they allow a private sale of media rights.

For almost 30 years, the huge increase in the value of its broadcast rights has driven the transfer fees and player wages that have made the Premier League so popular. But the league has come under mounting pressure from the Football League to redistribute more of its media revenue throughout the pyramid.

Last year the Premier League ditched a controversial pay-per-view system for matches amid a fan backlash, reinforcing concerns over viewers’ appetite for more live action.


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