Premier League TV rights: Sky and BT pay £5.1bn for live games

Scudamore surprised at size of TV deal

Sky and BT Sport have paid a record £5.136bn for live Premier League TV rights for three seasons from 2016-17.

The figure represents a 70% increase on Sky and BT's current £3bn deal.

It is unclear whether the increase will affect ticket prices, although Sky pundits and former England internationals Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville said prices should be cut.

The Premier League said £56m a year has been earmarked for grassroots projects, including 50 artificial pitches.

Under the new contract, 168 games will be shown live, at an average cost to the broadcasters of £10.2m per match.

The rise of Premier League TV income

Sky paid £4.176bn to show 126 matches per season, including the first ever Friday evening games and both Sunday packages.

BT paid £960m for 42 games per season - four more than its present deal.

Pundits and politicians clamoured for the rise in revenue to be passed down to fans and grassroots football.

The BBC's Price of Football survey showed that the average price of cheapest tickets in England has risen at almost twice the rate of the cost of living since 2011.

TV deal like prune juice - Sugar

Gary Neville, co-owner of Evo-Stik league side Salford City, added: "I want sensible ticket pricing and grassroots football to benefit as much as possible from this deal. Who doesn't? This is a big issue!"

Former Liverpool defender Carragher said: "The amounts involved in ticket pricing, especially for away fans, has to change."

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore told BBC Sport: "Clubs understand that the number one strategic priority is to keep the stadiums full.

"They also need to understand that young fans must be encouraged to attend games. The clubs will do the right thing.

"Our record stands for itself. Ever since the time when we invested a percentage of our income in grassroots football and the Football Foundation, that whole activity area has grown.

"We will this year give away £250m. It will be over £800m over the course of this deal."

Biggest TV deals
CompetitionAnnual costTotal costDuration
NFL (American football)$4.95bn (£3.24bn)$39.6bn (£25.95bn)8 years (2014-22)
NBA (basketball)$2.6bn (£1.7bn)$24bn (£15.73bn)9 years (2016-25)
MLB (baseball)$1.55bn (£1.02bn)$12.4bn (£8.13bn)8 years (2014-21)
Premier League£1.7bn£5.14bn3 years (2016-19)

Sky are currently paying £760m a year to broadcast 116 live games - £6.6m a fixture. That sum has risen to £11m on average for each of their matches.

Asked if the figure was obscene, Scudamore said: "It is not. It is market forces. It is unscripted drama, the show the clubs put on.

TV deal breakdown
BT Sport36 matches on Saturday including 28 at 5.30pmSix midweek evening matches
Sky Sports28 Saturday at 12.30pm28 Sunday 1.30pm-2.15pm28 from 16:00-16:30 on Sunday28 Monday (no less than 18) or Friday (no more than 10)Eight Bank Holiday and 6 Sunday

"People want to see the top stars here. Look at the excitement of transfer deadline day.

"I am surprised by the size of it. Burnley are now, economically, bigger than Ajax.

"This is a good deal for all the clubs in English football and all the other organisations and charities that depend on Premier League revenues."

The fact the football clubs are in for a big payday was reflected on the New York Stock Exchange, with Manchester United's value rising by almost 5% in the immediate aftermath of the news of the new deal breaking.

Shares in United closed at $17.03, up 77 cents, having risen sharply after the 5pm GMT announcement - 12pm on Wall Street.

BBC Business Reporter Rebecca Marston said: "What's happened in New York is evidence clubs are expecting their payday. Investors clearly believe this is a wise investment as a direct result of this announcement."

How the £5.13bn was spent