Premier League opens UK bids: more matches, cap on any single buyer

The English Premier League has launched an invitation to bid for UK TV rights to the three seasons from 2013-14. The League is offering live rights to an increased total of 154 matches split into seven packages and a free-to-air highlights package including catch-up rights.

Live rights are split across five packages of 26 matches and two packages of 12 matches. No single buyer will be allowed to buy more than 116 matches.

“This creates a more attractive and compelling offering for both broadcasters and fans; whilst allowing the continued protection of the Saturday 3pm ‘closed window’ and minimising further displacement of Premier League fixtures,” the Premier League said.

The League will open a separate sales process for two near-live packages each containing 226 matches – one for linear and one for video-on-demand – and an online clips package for all 380 matches.

Despite the controversy around the recent court case to determine whether the League could block access to foreign transmissions in the UK, the rights on offer will be for the UK only, with international rights to be sold separately as before. There had been speculation that the League would move to a system of awarding rights on a pan-European basis.

Tags: UK