Surprise bidder BT has acquired the rights to broadcast live Premier League games for the first time, securing the rights to 38 matches a season from 2013-14 to 2015-16. BSkyB will continue to show the bulk of games, securing the rights to 116 games per season.
The total of 154 live matches is 16 more than currently broadcast and more than 40 per cent of all top-level matches.
The sales raised £3.018 billion, an increase of £1.25 billion on the current package which shares rights between BSkyB and ESPN.
BT is paying £246 million per season for its broadcast rights, while BSkyB is paying £760 million a year.
BT said it would launch a new football-focused channel to carry the games. “It will offer new interactive features when supplied over BT’s fibre network and we will look to distribute it on other platforms,” the telco said.
BT said full details and pricing would be published in due course
“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.”
He added that BT would “deliver new ways in which fans will be able to follow the competition”.
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