English men's soccer’s top-tier Premier League (EPL) will continue to be shown domestically by pay-TV broadcasters Sky and TNT Sports (formerly BT Sport) after the duo secured four-year rights deals, starting in 2025-26, worth £6.7 billion ($8.45 billion).
The agreements, covering the 2025-26 to 2028-29 cycle, come after the EPL first launched the sale process for domestic rights on October 18, with two invitations to tender – one for live and near-live rights and the other for free-to-air highlights. The deadline for domestic broadcasters to submit first-round bids was set for November 29.
The EPL made several changes to what was on offer to broadcasters, including the cycle increasing from the traditional three seasons to four, and an increase to the number of live matches per season available, from 200 to 270. No single buyer was allowed to acquire more than four of the five packages being sold.
Sky has secured the maximum four of the five packages on offer and will air a minimum of 215 live matches per campaign, including Saturday 5.30pm kick-offs, Sunday 2pm and 4.30pm games, evening fixtures on Mondays and Fridays, and three midweek rounds, as well as all 10 fixtures from the final day of the season.
TNT, meanwhile, will broadcast a minimum of 52 matches per season, including all Saturday 12.30pm kick-offs and two midweek match rounds. Public broadcaster the BBC will continue to air its Match of the Day show after snapping up a weekly highlights package, meanwhile.
E-commerce giant Amazon, which shows 20 matches per season under the league’s current agreement, has been dropped as a domestic broadcast partner after failing to secure a new contract.
The new deal means for the first time, all matches outside the traditional Saturday 3pm blackout will be broadcast live in the UK, while there will also be more midweek rounds where games are shown simultaneously, with fans able to choose which to watch.
The EPL said the new agreement represents a 4% rise in live rights value compared to the previous deal and will “provide financial certainty for clubs throughout professional football until at least 2029.”
EPL chief executive Richard Masters said: “As longstanding and valued partners, Sky Sports and TNT Sports are renowned for consistently delivering world-class coverage and programming. We have enjoyed record audiences and attendances in recent seasons, and we know that their continued innovation will drive more people to watch and follow the Premier League.
“The outcome of this process underlines the strength of the Premier League and is a testament to our clubs, players, and managers who continue to deliver the world's most competitive football in full stadiums, and to supporters, who create an unrivaled atmosphere every week.”
Dana Strong, group chief executive of Sky, added: “This is a fantastic result for Sky customers, who will see a significant increase in the number of matches from the most iconic league in the world.
“We are proud of our long history with the Premier League and look forward to delivering more engagement, entertainment, and innovation to the end of the decade. Sky is the undisputed home for sports fans in the UK.”
This was the first tender process for domestic rights by the EPL since 2018 – and the league was looking for a significant increase in rights fees due to the increase in live matches available and the reduction of packages on offer.
The original deal, worth £5 billion, initially covered the 2019-20 through 2021-22 seasons but was rolled over for another 3 years (2022-23 through 2024-25 seasons) without a tender due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the financial uncertainty that it brought.
Recent reports suggested Sky and TNT would be major bidders for the cycle, while Amazon and global streaming service DAZN were also said to be interested in challenging the traditional broadcasters with increased offers.
However, Conrad Wiacek, head of analysis and consulting at Sporcal (GlobalData Sport), said: “The Premier League will rightly be delighted to have secured a new media rights deal with Sky and TNT in the UK market. On the surface, the deal is a success and an increase for the league on its previous deal, guaranteeing $8.45 billion in revenue over the next four years.
“However, in real terms, the deal is a loss for the Premier League. More games are available in the packages, and the term is over four years as opposed to the three-year cycles it has previously operated in, meaning simply a lower cost per game, which is great for consumers but less so for the Premier League.
“There was an expectation that Amazon, Apple, and DAZN would be in the running for rights yet none of them have challenged the incumbents in Comcast-owned Sky and Warner Bros Discovery-owned TNT. In fact, with Amazon losing its rights for the ‘Christmas’ package, it suggests that the streaming services have no interest in attempting to take on the UK market.
“With Amazon and Apple positioning themselves effectively in the US market, and DAZN having rights in several key European markets, the UK sports rights market is still dominated by Sky and will be for the foreseeable future.”
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