Sky extends Premier League rights with cost saving deal

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The Premier League announced on Tuesday that Sky Sports and BT Sport will continue to screen live Premier League football until at least 2022 after purchasing five packages between them in the latest rights deal.

Having secured one package of 42 matches in the current deal, and the rights to all United Kingdom broadcasts of the Champions League, BT Sport said it had "remained financially disciplined" in the auction for the 2019-22 rights.

The broadcaster will therefore show 32 live matches per season on Saturdays at 12.30pm.

The American company may be interested in the 40 game package that remains available. The matches that remain up for grabs are for midweek and bank holiday fixtures.

The two rival networks will pay a combined UK£4.464 billion (US$6.194 billion) to acquire five of the seven live rights packages on offer for the three-season period starting from 2019.

Following the auction of domestic Premier League rights for 2019-22, Sky said it would be spending 16 percent less per game than under its present three-year deal.

If the tech firms do jump in, there might be an opportunity for United Kingdom fans to watch at least some live games without paying BT or Sky.

Under the deal, BT agreed to supply its sports channels, which show Uefa Champions League and Europa League fixtures, to Sky.

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"From the time of Fox's offer, we recognized that Sky was worth far more than offered", Nicolas Dautigny, a senior portfolio manager at Polygon, said in a statement to Reuters.

In all, Sky picked up 128 games, including all the matches on Fridays, Sundays and Monday evenings.

"We will now continue the sales process to deliver the best possible outcome for the remaining packages of rights in the United Kingdom and throughout the rest of the world".

Scudamore said the new deal was testament to the football produced by the 20 Premier League clubs.

Commenting on the reduced £3.579bn the company is paying for its four prime packages, Stephen van Rooyen, Sky's United Kingdom chief executive, said they had taken a "disciplined approach".

"We continue to invest in content that our customers value and which complements our strategy to broaden our offer", Stephen van Rooyen, Sky's United Kingdom chief executive, said in a statement.

The companies commented that they had taken a "disciplined approach".

Media speculation is growing with regards to the Premier League's remaining broadcast packages, with United States tech giants Amazon, Facebook and Apple reported to be considering lucrative bids to strengthen their UK product propositions through football content.

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