The Premier League has agreed to a new huge television rights deal.
Valued at £5.136 billion, the deal is 71 per cent higher than the previous agreement and will run for three years from 2016. Sky once again is the major player in the deal with the British broadcasting company paying £4.176 billion for five of the seven available TV packages, BT has snapped up the other two for £960 million.
The current deal, signed in 2012, was the largest in history at £3.018 billion but this figure has been surpassed substantially. It highlights the major draw that the Premier League has in the UK and further afield. Under the terms of the agreement, Sky will pay £1.392 billion a year, or £11.07 million per match, for the right to screen 126 live matches. BT have committed to £320 million per season.
With the extra money, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said it will be used by clubs to investment in stadium improvements and "youth development and good causes".
Licence to "print money"
The new TV deal maybe seen as a major coup for clubs and broadcasters alike but it has come in for criticism from Virgin Media. The company's chief executive Tom Mockridge described the auction process as being a licence for the Premier League to "print money". Mr Mockridge was also concern that fans would ultimately bear the brunt of the issues.
Mr Mockridge added: "There are other and better ways to structure the auction – selling more games gives more value for money and selling non-exclusively to broadcasters would take some of the heat out of auction process."
Supporters have been hugely vocal of soaring ticket prices in the recent years. In 2013, a number of Manchester City boycotted their side's away match against Arsenal at the Emirates after being charged £62 for a matchday ticket.
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