Page last updated at 18:07 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

BSkyB snatches Setanta TV rights

A Premier League clash
Premier League football is a major draw for BSkyB and Setanta

More than 80% of live televised Premier League games will appear on BSkyB after the broadcaster snatched some of the TV rights from rival Setanta.

The broadcasters have each won one of the two remaining packages of UK broadcast rights for 2010 to 2013.

The deal takes the total generated from selling the rights to 1.782bn - about 5% more than the current deal.

Earlier this week the Premier League said BSkyB had retained four of the six packages of audio-visual rights.

'Future certainty'

Each package is made up of 23 top-flight games and at present, Setanta has rights to two of the six packages.

Number of games to be shown per season 2010-2013 by BSkyB: 115
Number of games to be shown per season 2010-2013 by Setanta: 23
Value of first Premier League TV deal in 1992-1997: 191m (60 matches per season)
Value of 2010-2013 Premier League TV deal: 1.782bn (138 matches per season)

Under the package it has retained, Setanta will show games kicking off late on Saturday afternoon.

Sky, which relies heavily on football for winning and keeping subscribers, said it was paying 1.623bn for its packages, which chief executive Jeremy Darroch said gave it "certainty for the future".

Ireland-based Setanta also has the rights for English international and FA Cup matches, as well as Scottish football, golf, boxing and Indian Premier League cricket.

It said the one package it had retained would "remain at the heart of the company's broad offering" of sport.

But given that the Premier League has been its top attraction, observers say the loss of 23 matches per season would be a big blow to the broadcaster.


Broadcasters made their offers in a controlled secret auction process and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said that, in the economic climate, there was "a sense of relief" at the amount of money generated.

This deal gives the clubs the stability to plan and invest in the most important aspect of our business - the football
Richard Scudamore
Chief executive, Premier League

Half of all broadcast revenue raised is split equally among all 20 Premier League clubs.

A further 25% is distributed depending on how many televised games a club appears in. The remaining funds are awarded based on where a club finishes in the league table, with higher ranking sides getting bigger payouts.

"The Premier League is a fantastic competition and the continued investment in playing talent and facilities made by the clubs is largely down to the revenue generated through the sale of our broadcast rights," Mr Scudamore said.

"The live UK rights are the largest contribution to the revenues we distribute centrally to the clubs and this deal gives them the stability to plan and invest in the most important aspect of our business - the football. Everything else flows from that."

Last week, the BBC retained the rights to broadcast Premier League highlights up to the end of the 2012-13 season.

The overseas broadcast rights, which are also up for renewal in 2010, generated a total of 625m over the same three-year period when they were renegotiated in January 2007.

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