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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 March 2006, 21:48 GMT
Top-flight rights bidding begins
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore
Premier League chief Scudamore has six packages of 23 games each
The Premier League has given broadcasters until 27 April to tender sealed bids to screen live top-flight matches from 2007/2008.

Terrestrial and satellite television companies will be battling it out with mobile phone and broadband providers for the six packages available.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "Companies can bid for all the packages but can only buy five.

"If they win all six they will have to drop one."

He added: "April 27 is the final date for the sealed bids for the live packages but we've already been talking to broadcasters for a number of months.

There is no package which is clearly the runt of the litter
Richard Scudamore

"The auction will be by sealed bids but it can go to multiple rounds and we also have the right to set a reserve price for each package.

"A lot of broadcasters will be interested because the live coverage is split into bite-sized chunks. That creates maximum market interest.

"Broadcasters are not obliged to put games on television. All games could theoretically go to other forms of media."

Each of the six packages has 23 games due to be screened at different kick-off times.

And Scudamore said: "There is no package which is clearly the runt of the litter.

"It's hard to see which packages are better and which packages are worse although obviously they are not equal.

"In the previous auction the gradient in terms of attractiveness of each package was steep with it simply involving 38 first, second, third and fourth picks - now it is more shallow."


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