Well, the results are in and Sky have once again set records with a deal which will see more Premier League games than ever before be shown on Sky Sports, keeping football fans with the company and continuing Sky's ambition to be the place to view Sky Sports. That deal cost Sky £4.176 billion, but what exactly will their record breaking fund get them, and how will it affect your friday nights over the next three years? Read on to find out.
The total cost of this years Premier League rights auction hit a dizzying £5.136 billion, which is £2.118 billion more than the 2012 auction raised, which was in turn £1.245 billion more than the 2009 auction. If those numbers look exponential to you, then that's because they are. It's even more stark when you consider that the 2000 auction raised £1.2 billion, just £500 million less than the same auction a decade later. Those numbers indicate that the Premier League is now flushed with cash, and Sky is significantly out of pocket.
Part of those skyrocketing numbers is fueled by competition from BT, who surprised everyone in 2012 with bids that took three of the seven available packages away from Sky, denting their reputation as the place for Premier League football and sending customers fleeing to the Sky customer service number free to complain about the loss of their favourite games to BT Sport. Naturally then, Sky couldn't let BT pull the same trick again, and thanks to the blind nature of the bidding process for Premier League rights, Sky were forced to bet big to win the rights.
That plan worked out for Sky, as they netted five of the seven available packages, including Friday night football for the first time ever. In total, Sky will be showing 126 games a season, including 26 first pick matches and 31 second pick matches. That should mean that Sky Sports subscribers get to see more games than ever, and more of the big ticket games that fans crave to see. It also means that every side in the Premier League will be featured on Sky at least four times, a boon for fans and neutrals alike.
126 games a season works out as £11 million per match, up drastically from the £6.6 million per match paid out during the last deal and a total mockery compared to how much Championship sides are paid for a live game - £500,000. As such, it's no wonder that newly promoted sides struggle in the Premiership and freshly demoted sides flounder without the massive sums of cash they were receiving during their Premiership run. Indeed, fans have taken to calling the Premier League and free number for Sky to implore that TV money is capped for Premier League sides and that the rest of the money is spent on lowering ticket prices on the gates and supporting grassroots football initiatives.
For BT's part, they secured 42 games a season for £960 million, which alongside their Champions League rights deal, should see BT Sport continue to be a popular location for football fans across the country.
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