- Premier League UK TV Rights Will Be Auctioned Later This Year
- Significant Changes Will Be Made To Packages And Games Available
- The League Hopes To Match Or Increase On Previous £5.1bn Bid
- There Are Understood To Be Four Interested Parties As It Stands
£4.5bn was raised in 2015 – the last time that the Premier League’s domestic rights went to an open auction.
Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime claimed the seven packages and 200 games between them with Sky owning the lion’s share of four sets of rights, BT two packages and Amazon Prime a single package.
The pandemic saw the rights rolled over in 2021 for around £5.1bn with bidding for the first time in eight years beginning later this year for a three-year cycle that commences in 2025.
The Premier League is hoping to either increase on or match the previous £5.1bn bid but it will be difficult to do so amid fans cancelling sports subscriptions due to the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Therefore, the league will implement two major changes this time around. The number of live games is expected to increase from 200 to 270 and the number of packages dropping from seven to potentially just four.
THE FOUR-HORSE RACE – Who Will Bid For Premier League UK TV Rights?
Sky Sports, TNT Sports, Amazon Prime and DAZN are the four broadcasters expected to table bids in this year’s auction.
This is after Apple announced that they would not bid as their interest was focused on acquiring global rights. Viaplay’s monumental losses have forced them to look at an exit from the UK market.
The shift to just four packages poses an ultimatum for Amazon Prime who will have to ‘go big or go home’ in this year’s auction.
They will no longer be able to replicate a cut-price deal for a limited number of games as they did in the last auction and will now need to decide whether they want to make a heavy investment for the rights or not.
Should Amazon choose not to bid, it would significantly help the chances of rival streaming service, DAZN.
Sir Len Blavatnik’s UK-based DAZN, which has more than 60m registered users and 20m subscribers, is the only horse in the race without an existing package.
The network has the domestic rights to four of the five major European football leagues (Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Seria A).
Premier League Football is the missing piece of the puzzle but perhaps for not much longer as the streaming giant is expected to make a significant play for domestic rights.
The UK market is a key market in the business which is striving towards profitability. DAZN now has UK rights to the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Matchroom Boxing, Misfits, PFL Europe, The IPL, NFL Game Pass and most recently the Saudi Pro League.
The Premier League is obviously the cream of the crop in sporting rights and some feel a necessity if DAZN will have success this side of the pond.
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