The Premier League has agreed to extend its current deal with UK broadcasters, rolling over the live and non-live agreements with Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and BBC Sport.  

Premier League credit DAZN

Premier League: Allowed to forgo usual rights tender process

Source: DAZN

The three-year extension was unanimously agreed to by Premier League clubs and will run from 2022 to 2025.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said that the UK Government recognised the damage caused by the impact of Covid-19 and so agreed to ditch the usual rights tender process.

He said: “We are hugely appreciative of the Government agreeing in principle to allow this arrangement and for their continued support for the Premier League and the English game.

“Covid-19 has had a significant impact on football, and renewals with our UK broadcast partners will reduce uncertainty, generate stability and promote confidence within the football pyramid.” 

The agreement with Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and BBC Sport follows approval in principle for the renewal from the UK Government after an “extensive period of consideration”.

The Premier League said the approval will enable the Premier League to conclude the renewals without conducting its normal broadcast rights tender process. 

The agreement will provide certainty for broadcasters, clubs and fans and was met with approval by broadcasters.

BT Sport - which has been put up for sale by BT - issued a statement to say it welcomed the agreement, which will mean the pay-TV sports broadcaster will continue to show 52 live games per season.

And Amazon Prime managing director of sport Alex Green expressed his support for the deal:

However, some parties may feel aggrieved, according to tech, media and telco analyst Paolo Pescatore.

“This will be a huge blow to DAZN, which is keen to add the crown jewels of UK sports broadcasting rights to its fledgling service,” he said.

“The outcome puts BT in a far stronger position in forging a strategic deal with DAZN. Otherwise, the streamer will be forced to wait another three years at a minimum to get these lucrative sports rights.

“Supporting clubs in the lower leagues is a noble effort which was key in getting the extension over the line. The additional amount is a drop in the ocean compared to the billions secured for the next Premier League cycle.”

“Arguably more could have been done in the absence of an auction which would have led to a further a decline in the value for the domestic rights.”

According to the BBC, the current £4.7bn deal, agreed in 2018, represented a 10% drop in value.

“All eyes will now be on the overseas rights and whether the Premier League can maintain or increase the value as per last time,” added Pescatore.