(Bloomberg) -- The Premier League sold four years of UK broadcast rights for £6.7 billion ($8.4 billion), mostly to its biggest existing partners Sky Sports and TNT Sports, in a deal that cements its position as Europe’s most lucrative sports franchise.
Comcast Corp.’s Sky secured pay-TV rights for at least 215 live matches, the league said Monday. TNT Sports, a new joint venture between Warner Bros Discovery Inc. and long-time British football broadcaster BT Group Plc, acquired rights to 52 matches, including Saturday afternoon matches.
The price amounts to a 4% increase from the previous cycle, just for the live events, according to the league. The rights run from the 2025 to 2028 seasons.
Amazon.com Inc., which currently has a small package of 20 matches timed around the Christmas period, decided not to bid, according to a person close to the situation. The tech company did not want to bid for the volume of games on offer, said the person who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information. Amazon is focusing on showing the prestigious European Champions League in the UK throughout next season.
The Premier League called it the largest sports media rights package ever sold in the UK, after dramatically increasing the number of games available. The 2021 auction was skipped and rolled over due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sky CEO Dana Strong called her service the “undisputed home for sport fans in the UK,” and the company said it had as many as 100 more matches each season, with more than 80% of live Premier League games.
Len Blavatnik-backed sports streamer DAZN also didn’t secure any rights, despite previously expressed ambitions to push into Premier League broadcasting and snapping up top football packages elsewhere in Europe like Italy.
“This is good for Sky, said Francois Godard from Enders Analysis. “They get more matches, more coverage — but also it’s quite honorable for the Premier League.”
The auction comes amid a difficult market for premium sports rights elsewhere in Europe. In Italy, domestic rights for Serie A soccer were sold to the sports streaming group DAZN and Warner Bros Discovery Inc. for less than €1 billion. In France, broadcasters and streamers have been asked to resubmit bids after a first round failed to satisfy the league.
The British Broadcasting Corporation was awarded highlights rights for all 380 matches.
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