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Match of the Day (continued)

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Roger Mosey | 18:24 UK time, Thursday, 8 June 2006

So Match Of The Day stays on BBC One on Saturday night until at least May 2010. Today the FA Premier League awarded the new contract for highlights to the BBC in a deal which means we have four more seasons of showing every goal and all the key action from the Premiership.

We're obviously delighted. The day before the start of the World Cup it's good news for BBC audiences that we have not just the World Cup tournaments from now until 2014 but also a major stake in the success story of the Premier League. Around 7 million people each weekend watch either Match Of The Day on BBC One or the re-run on Sunday morning and MOTD2 on BBC Two on Sunday night. Over a season, well over half the UK population see some of the programmes.

But sports rights do come at a price...

In the previous contract we paid a total of £105m for the three-year deal: so £35m a season. In the new deal that rises to £171.6m - though that's still less than ITV paid for the contract when they had it from 2001-2004. That came in at £183m, and since then we've seen the normal effects of inflation and an increasing competition for sports contracts. Worth saying that the latest live deal with subscription broadcasters has resulted in some matches costing them getting on for £5 million each.

We also get a lot of content from having Match Of The Day. Not just the three main programmes, but it underpins Football Focus and Score and Final Score - and football's therefore at the heart of the BBC schedules throughout the season. If you add in our web services and live radio, together with our tv coverage of the FA Cup and England home internationals, nobody should doubt our commitment to football.

So it's great to have an agreement with the Premier League that takes us into the decade - and continues to tell the story of the world's greatest game free-to-air for audiences across the UK.

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