UK government gives ok to Premier League rights rollover

The UK government has greenlit the English Premier League’s plans to rollover its domestic broadcast deals.

Initially announced in May, the three-year rights deals were agreed directly with broadcasters Sky, BT and Amazon. This skipped an auction which would have wiped hundreds of millions off the rights value, given the downward trend for rights deals across Europe. This way, the league is guaranteed £1.7 billion in domestic broadcast revenue per season until at least 2025. 

The league cited an exclusion order under the Competition Act of 1998 which enabled the league to conclude the renewals without conducting the normal rights tender process, but this was pending government approval which has now been granted.

Richard Masters, chief executive of the Premier League, said: “The Premier League welcomes the Government’s approval to renew our UK broadcast arrangements for the next three-year cycle. This allows us to commit to increasing our support to the football pyramid and communities for the next four years, which is vital following the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on football.

“We will work with our football partners to ensure that this investment helps the game recover and lay foundations for a positive future.”

The deal also guarantees a further £100 million to be invested over the next four years in the National League system, women’s and girls game, community football facilities, the EFL and other projects. This however was criticised by the EFL, which slammed the deal as unfair as it does not alter the currently controversial ‘parachute payments’ for clubs relegated from the Premier League.

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