Sky investor Polygon says Fox offer undervalues broadcaster

Sky investor Polygon says Fox offer undervalues broadcaster

Sky investor Polygon says Fox offer undervalues broadcaster

As the battle over sports rights heats up in Australia the Murdoch linked Sky Sports has agreed to pay A$6Billion for a three-year deal to show 128 English Premier League soccer matches a season from 2019/20, less than it paid for its current broadcast deal.

The European broadcaster won the bulk of the Premier League rights in an auction result announced late Tuesday but will pay 16 percent less per game, offering buyers comfort about the profit outlook of its pay-TV business.

Marc Allera, chief executive of BT's consumer division, said: "The Premier League is undoubtedly the most competitive and exciting domestic league in the world, so we're delighted that our customers will be able to continue enjoying Saturday games on BT Sport".

Still up for grabs are packages F and G, which consist of 20 matches from one Bank Holiday and one midweek fixture programme, and 20 matches from two midweek fixture programmes respectively. Interestingly, the 2019-2022 Chinese rights have already been sold to online video streaming service PPTV for $700 million in the Premier League's biggest-ever global deal. That means the broadcaster, while paying more, has actually lost 10 games and will only screen games now at Saturday lunchtime, a less attractive scenario than the more popular 5.30pm slot.

Sky Sports have won the rights to four packages which comprises of 128 live fixtures.

Expanding its coverage, the Premier League will allow Sky Sports to broadcast 8 "Saturday 20:00 PrimeTime" matches for the first time.

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Inconsistent viewing patterns for sport in recent years - including a decline for the Premier League in the United Kingdom over the 2016/2017 season - have also spurred questions about the value of the rights.

Facebook unsuccessfully bid to show five years of Indian Premier League cricket and has showed the ICC Champions Trophy in some countries.

"It provides them with certainty and will underpin their continued efforts to put on the most compelling football, invest sustainably in all areas, and use their popularity and reach to have a positive impact on the sport and beyond".

The value of the rights so far sold is £4.5BN ($6.2BN) with two packages to go, meaning that it is likely to outstrip the previous deal, which came in at £5.1BN (US$7.1BN), but there has not been the inflation that was somewhat expected.

With Comcast sidelined in December by the Disney-Fox deal but now showing renewed interest, the result could "sharpen the deal pencil" of the largest US cable company and the Roberts family, its founders, he said.

The sudden ferocity of competition between Sky and BT Sport which boosted the Premier League clubs' coffers for the 2016-19 cycle has calmed a little after the two companies signed a deal in December which enables each to offer the other's channels on their platform.

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