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Report: Premier League set to increase UK televised matches to 270

English top flight looks to cash in as tech giants circle and launches AR experience ahead of Summer Series in US.

3 July 2023 Steve McCaskill

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  • Premier League’s next rights cycle starts in 2025 
  • Tender documents set to be published in October 
  • AR experience will engage fans ahead of US trip 

The Premier League will increase the number of televised fixtures in the UK from 200 to 270 a season in its next rights cycle due to begin in 2025/26, according to the Daily Mail. 

English soccer’s top flight is about to enter the final season of its current UK£4.8 billion (US$6.1 billion) three-year deals with Sky Sports, TNT Sports (formally BT Sport) and Amazon Prime, and hopes the increased number of matches will attract larger bids from potential broadcasters. 

The league also wants to tempt other broadcasters, such as DAZN, Disney and Apple, to make a move for the most valuable sports rights in the British market. 

According to the Daily Mail, the Premier League will not push for the 3pm blackout to be abolished, in line with the English Football League’s (EFL) recent television deal. Instead, the top flight will increase the number of matches on Friday and Monday nights, while also making every fixture played on Sunday eligible for live coverage.  

There will reportedly be fewer packages available, with each bundle containing more matches. Amazon’s package of 20 matches, or two full rounds of fixtures, will not be available.  

The Premier League is also launching its first ever augmented reality (AR) experience ahead of its ‘Summer Series’ pre-season tournament in the US. The smartphone-based experience will look to engage fans and raise the profile of all 20 clubs as the league continues to build its profile across the Atlantic. 

The experience was developed by Doppelgänger, which recently created Wimbledon’s first presence on the Fortnite video game.  

SportsPro says… 

While international markets can watch every single Premier League match live, usually with a single broadcaster, the strategy in the UK has been to control the supply and take advantage of demand for the most valuable rights in the British market. 

This supply has gradually increased over the past 30 years, allowing the Premier League to increase revenues without flooding the market. Only lockdown, which saw the Premier League roll over its existing deals for another cycle back in 2021, has stopped this upwards trajectory.  

The league now sees growing interest from tech giants and streaming platforms as an opportunity to resume normal service.  

The decision to maintain the 3pm blackout will be greeted positively in some quarters, although it would mean only 110 matches being played during the traditional window over a 38-week period. Instead, match-going fans will be required to attend more midweek and evening fixtures.  

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