- UK government to add an Exclusion Order under the Competition Act 1998 to permit deal without tender
- Premier League to provide UK£100m of extra funding to English soccer pyramid over four years
The Premier League, English soccer's top flight, has confirmed its clubs have unanimously agreed a proposal to conclude a three-year renewal of its UK£5 billion (US$7 billion) live and non-live domestic broadcast partnerships with Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and BBC Sport.
The deal follows approval in principle for the renewal from the British government, which according to UK media reports has been in talks with the Premier League for several months. The government approval will be embodied in an Exclusion Order under the Competition Act 1998, which will enable the league to conclude the renewals without conducting its normal broadcast rights tender process.
In light of the damaging impact the Covid-19 pandemic has caused to the English soccer pyramid, the Premier League said it was able to demonstrate to the government exceptional and compelling reasons for the Exclusion Order.
The UK renewals for the next broadcast cycle, which runs from the 2022/23 season until the end of the 2024/25 campaign, will be concluded at the same overall value as the current arrangements between the Premier League and its broadcast partners. The Premier League says this enables it to 'commit to increased funding' for 'security and continuity throughout the [English soccer] pyramid until at least 2025'.
Prior to the pandemic, the Premier League committed to providing UK£1.5 billion (US$2.1 billion) to the lower tiers of English soccer. The terms of the Exclusion Order and the broadcast partnership renewals will see that maintained during the next rights cycle and will be supplemented by an additional UK£100 million (US$140 million) of funding over the next four years only. The Premier League said this will go to the '[English soccer] community particularly vulnerable to the impacts of Covid-19'.
The funding covers 1,000 clubs in the semi-professional National League system, women’s and girls’ soccer, and League One and League Two clubs, as well as the Football Foundation. It will also support a number of benevolent soccer projects, including studies into head injuries, as well as anti-discrimination and fan groups.
Richard Masters, Premier League chief executive, said: “The Premier League would like to express our gratitude to our broadcast partners for their continued commitment to the Premier League and support for the football pyramid.
“We are hugely appreciative of the government agreeing in principle to allow this arrangement and for their continued support for the Premier League and the English game. Covid-19 has had a significant impact on football, and renewals with our UK broadcast partners will reduce uncertainty, generate stability and promote confidence within the football pyramid.
“We know that, once concluded, this will have a positive impact on the wider industry, jobs and tax revenues and will enable us to maintain and increase our existing solidarity and community financial commitments to the football pyramid for the next four years, even though we are yet to understand the full impact of the pandemic.
“Once concluded, this arrangement will have a positive impact on the wider industry, jobs and tax revenues”
The Premier League has confirmed three-year renewal of its rights deal s Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and BBC Sport