BT wins rights to broadcast live Premier League games
BT outbids the likes of ESPN and Al Jazeera to land the rights to broadcast live Premier League games from 2013-14
BT has secured the rights to broadcast live Premier League games from the 2013-14 season on a three-year deal.
BSkyB will continue to show the bulk of the live games after securing the rights to 116 matches per season, with BT awarded 38 fixtures.
The telecoms firm is paying £246m a season for the rights, while BskyB is paying £760m for its package.
The sale of the rights is worth £3.018bn in total, a remarkable £1.254bn increase on the package currently shared between BSkyB and ESPN.
BT says it will launch a new football-focused channel to show the games, although it is unclear whether this will be made available on the existing Sky platform.
“It will offer new interactive features when supplied over BT’s fibre network and we will look to distribute it on other platforms,” read a BT statement.
BT chief executive Ian Livingston added: “BT is already investing £2.5bn in fibre broadband. Securing Premier League rights fits naturally with this, as consumers increasingly want to buy their broadband and entertainment services from a single provider.”
At present, BT Vision’s internet-based on-demand service is only available to customers with a BT broadband connection and a separate set-top box.
“We welcome BT as a new Premier League broadcast partner,” said Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.
“They are a substantial British company that is at the leading edge of technology and infrastructure development. BT will deliver new ways in which fans will be able to follow the competition.”
He added: “The continuing support of BSkyB for Premier League football is significant beyond the revenues delivered; the longevity and quality of their commitment has done much for the English game as a whole.”
ESPN failed to match the bidding for any of the available packages, as did Middle East-based broadcaster Al Jazeera, which was thought to be a leading contender.