Sky Sports, BT Sport Retain 5 of 7 EPL Live Rights Packages Through ’21 Season, Broadcast Rights Lose Value

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Sky Sports (SKYAY) and BT Sport (BT) have won 5 of the 7 live rights packages that the English Premier League had up for auction, agreeing to pay a combined $6.194 billion to broadcast league games between 2019-2021. The EPL announced BT won package A ($409.3 million/season, includes 32 games played on Saturdays at 12:30p GMT), while SKYAY wrapped up packages B, C, D & E ($1.655 billion/season). The 4-package haul gives Sky Sports the exclusive rights to broadcast 128 league games, including all Saturday tea-time (5:30p GMT) and 7:45p GMT matches, Super Sunday afternoon games, Monday and Friday night football. There are reportedly “multiple bidders” (that may include Amazon) interested in the last 2 packages, F and G; each containing 20 matches to be played on bank holidays and mid-week. BBC locked up the domestic highlights rights package for the next cycle.

Howie Long-Short: SKYAY and BT Sport are currently paying $7.147 billion, so the value of domestic rights decreased by $2.8 million/match. SKYAY is picking up 2 matches per year and paying 16% less over the term of the 3-year pact. Unlike the new Fox NFL TNF deal, which is expected to be a loss leader for the network; BT believes with its acquisition of EE (and the corresponding increase in viewership), the company will turn a profit on their investment. It must be noted that while the value of domestic EPL broadcast rights declined, the league is seeing massive overseas growth; reflected in newly signed deals with the U.S. ($178 million/season through ‘22, twice the value of the previous deal) and China ($250 million/year through ‘22, 14x value of current deal).

Fan Marino: There was some big news on the U.S. soccer front late last week, when Carlos Cordeiro was named the winner of the U.S. Soccer Presidential election (8 candidates); after 3 rounds of voting. Cordeiro who acknowledges he’s not a “soccer expert”, will hire 2 GMs (USMNT, USWNT) who will report to CEO Dan Flynn. Cordeiro isn’t new to U.S. Soccer, he’s been the federation’s Vice President the last 2 years and spent the prior 9 years as an independent board member.

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