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Tuesday, 4 April, 2000, 08:44 GMT 09:44 UK
Premiership goes pay-per-view
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Up to 40 games will be shown on a pay-per-view basis
Click here to view the main points of the new TV deal.

The introduction of pay-per-view television coverage of English Premiership football matches is due to begin next season.

Cable television operator NTL will broadcast 40 matches exclusively as pay-per-view. The deal could net the top 20 top clubs up to 1bn.

The new terms were agreed by the Premier League in early April after club chairman met to draw up a three-year financial

The Football League, representing the three divisions below the Premiership, has had pay-per-view trials this season.

But it may now find that scheduled Premiership matches clash with some of its own live games.

The Premiership has ensured that each club must be featured at least once and not more than six times each season on pay-per-view, with fans able to buy games individually or via "mini-season tickets" - the prices of which yet to be established.

Speaking in April, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "Primarily football wins but it does not become completely over-exposed.

"It allows consumers more choice but also allows clubs more flexibility.

"We have to get a balance and the seven or eight packages have to sit alongside each other.

"We will continue dialogue in an effort to avoid any difficulties."

New Premiership TV deal:

  • The main deal: A total of 66 live games played at 1600 GMT on Sundays and at 2000 GMT on Mondays, with the right to also show a highlights programme on Sunday mornings.

  • Pay-per-view: For the first time ever, a total of 40 live games can be shown on a pay-per-view basis. These are likely to be transmitted at 1400 GMT on Sundays. Each club must be shown at least once but on no more than six occasions per season.

  • Saturday highlights: Reserved for terrestrial 'free-to-air' channels.

  • Sunday highlights: A new innovation for the growing number of Sunday games.

  • Clubs' in-house TV channels: Premiership clubs can currently only use archive material, but will in future be able to show their own matches on a delayed basis on their in-house TV channels, such as Manchester United's MUTV.

  • Internet: Premier League clubs will in future be allowed to show their own Saturday, Sunday and Monday games on their internet sites after midnight on Monday.

  • Sub-licences: Rights to games will be awarded on an experimental basis for 'video on demand' and mobile phones.

  • The Premier League still have to put out to tender overseas TV and radio rights to games.

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