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Last Updated: Monday, 23 January 2006, 00:31 GMT
Murdoch says Sky 'saved' football
News Corporation chairman rupert Murdoch
Sky has had a monopoly on live TV rights for football since the 1990s
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch believes his company saved football in the UK when it bought the rights to show Premier League games on Sky television.

"(British football) is awash with cash," the News Corporation chairman told BBC Radio Five Live on Sunday.

"Put your mind back 20 years to what it was like to go to a football match and (compare it to) what it is today.

"The game is better, all the arenas are infinitely better. It's been a revolution for football."

Sky television has enjoyed exclusive broadcasting rights to live top-flight football in England since the formation of the Premier League in 1992.

It saved football in many ways
Rupert Murdoch on Sky
The first deal was worth 191m over five seasons, while the next contract, negotiated to start in 1997, rose to 670m over four seasons.

The Premier League's current 1.024bn deal with BSkyB runs over the course of three seasons from August 2004.

The decision by the Premier League to chose BSkyB over terrestial broadcasters BBC and ITV in the 1990s was seen by many as radical at the time, as it made pay-television the home of football.

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