Premier League TV rights: Government allows top flight to roll over existing deal

Son Heung-Min of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates at the final whistle with TV cameras filming him
The existing live domestic TV rights are held by Sky, BT and Amazon, while the BBC has shown Premier League games live during the pandemic with fans unable to attend matches

The Premier League has been granted government permission to roll over its existing domestic television deal with broadcasters for a further three years.

The new deal with Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and BBC Sport will run from 2022 to 2025.

The previous deal was worth £4.7bn.

The government granted an exclusion order under the Competition Act, allowing the league to renew without a normal tender process, as a "temporary measure" in response to the pandemic.

Clubs had been concerned that, after a 10% drop in value when the last rights deal was agreed in 2018, there would be a further downturn if the usual open-market auction was insisted upon.

Sport Minister Nigel Huddleston said concerns about consumers facing higher prices as a result of the decision were "carefully considered" but the the risk was deemed "low and outweighed by the significant public policy benefits that would be delivered by providing stability to the English football pyramid".

He added that broadcasters are expected to cost their packages at current levels.

As part of the arrangement, the Premier League has agreed to pay an extra £100m in "solidarity and good causes funding" to women's football, League One and League Two clubs as well as the National League competitions and grassroots game.

The existing level of financial support to the football pyramid, from the Championship and below, has been guaranteed for the next four years and covers a commitment to parachute payments and funding of youth development. The existing commitment has been £1.6bn over three years.

In a letter,external-link Huddleston said guaranteeing the £1.6bn by allowing the exclusion order "would provide stability for the football pyramid coming out of the pandemic".

"This funding would spread across the pyramid including grassroots football, women's football, funding for lower league clubs, and long-term income for clubs to plan for the future," Huddleston wrote.

"This is crucial given the losses sustained by football during the pandemic, with around £2bn lost by the Premier League and its clubs alone."

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said England's top flight wants to work with "football partners to ensure that this investment helps the game recover and lay foundations for a positive future".

"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," Masters said in a statement.

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