The Premier League may be planning to move the next auction, for the rights to broadcast the football, forward by 6 months. Participants will be Sky and BT. If this change does take place it means Sky and BT could take part in another fierce battle for supremacy, costing the winner potentially billions of pounds, within the next year. The Premier League has already hosted multiple meetings, where they have shared their new plans with the potential pay-TV broadcasters of the Premier League.
Unsurprisingly major firms such as BT and Sky are providing serious opposition against the plans as they are both already paying record fees for the rights, BT are also set to pay £900 million for the exclusive Champions League rights from the 2015 season onwards. Sources close to the parties involved in the discussions are saying that the Premier League is trying to utilise the current rivalry between Sky and BT, to gain huge profits.
In 2012 the two major firms paid in excess of £3billion for their rights, with the way the rivalry is growing, analysts are saying the next time the bid the combined free will be considerably greater. When the bidding finally starts, which could be as early as December for BT and Sky instead of July 2015, the rights for the next three Premier League seasons starting from 2016-17, will be sold. The Premier League is claiming they are not trying to exploit the current rivalry, but merely returning to the set timetable which gives competitors 18 months between the start of the new deal and the auction.
The 2009 auction was held in February that year, however the latest 2012 auction happened later in the year; June 2012. Although this later auction was blamed on a dispute between the Premier league and a pub in Portsmouth who were streaming the Premier League by using a Greek satellite decoder instead of a standard Sky box. The 2012 auction set records on its own with the live rights being 70% higher than the previous 2009 price. This coming auction looks set for Sky and BT to break further records.
Analysts thought that the next auction could cost a combined £3.6billon, which is 20% higher than the 2012 auction. However since then BT secured the Champions League rights by being extremely aggressive with their bidding, this now leaves speculation over how high the bidding will go this time around. No matter how high the bidding goes Sky are set for a hard battle to maintain or improve upon the 146 games they currently show.
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