DCMS allows Premier League to settle UK broadcast rights unchallenged

By | November 9, 2021

DCMS will allow the Premier League to renew its current broadcast agreements, without the mandatory requirement of undertaking a tender process for rights.

The decision has been granted by DCMS to guarantee that funding remains consistent across all levels of the football pyramid, as the Premier League serves as the main benefactor of youth development, grassroots football academy and community programmes.

As a result, the Premier League has secured a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will allow it to renew its current broadcast agreements with existing broadcast partners for a further three seasons starting 2022/2023.

Last year, the Premier League’s existing broadcast contracts with Sky Sports and BT Sport were interrupted by the government’s decision to allow re-scheduled matches to be broadcast on terrestrial TV Channels during lockdown.

Settling pandemic disruptions, DCMS has legislated an exclusion order, allowing the Premier League to renew its current broadcast agreements, without the need to conduct a mandatory tender process.

The MoU has been granted on the condition that the Premier League will increase its funding throughout the football pyramid from £1.5 to £1.6 billion over the next three years.

The £100 million increase in pyramid funding will be distributed to the National League, Women’s professional football, community facilities, EFL clubs and wider grassroots projects.

Signed by Chief Executive Richard Masters – “The Premier League acknowledges that the commitments given in this MOU do not amount to a waiver of the Government’s discretion to change the regulatory environment applicable to football.”

Broadcast media reports that the Premier League is targeting the combined sale of media rights packages of between £11-to-£12 billion covering its next three years.

Though UK broadcasts arrangements will be maintained at £5.8 billion, the Premier League is reported to be subject to a fierce bidding war in the US and Australia.

ESPN Disney, Warner and CBS are thought to be preparing multi-billion bids to replace NBC Sports as the US lead broadcaster of Premier League fixtures. Meanwhile, in Australia, current rights owner, Optus faces a four-way bidding battle with Stan Sport, Paramount+ and Amazon.

 

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