Sky will not try to force down Premiership TV rights
LONDON - Sky is reported to be offering Premier League football clubs the same £1.1bn for television rights it paid last time, despite a slump in prices for rights across the world and the lack of a serious contender to bid against it.
A report in The Observer claims that Sky would be prepared to pay at least as much as it already pays for television rights. The last deal negotiated between Sky and the Premier League saw the broadcaster pay £1.1bn for a three-year deal.
At the time, Sky owner Rupert Murdoch said that it was too much. Since then, TV rights for football leagues in Germany, Spain and Italy have been renegotiated at lower rates. In this country, clubs outside the Premier League are facing financial ruin after the collapse of ITV Digital left the Football League out of pocket.
"What would it do to the Premier League's business if we went with another broadcaster and got slightly less money? We would survive. But what would it man for Sky? They'd be left with movies and pop music, that's all. They need us more than we need them," says one Premier League official quoted by The Observer.
The Premier League makes around £1.6bn from television rights, including the £1.1bn from Sky and income generated from highlights packages, pay-per-view and overseas sales.
The BBC recently indicated that it was planning to bid for Premier League highlights.
ITV Digital's £178.5m three-year deal for the rights to show Football League matches was cited as one of the reasons for its financial problems. Viewing figures for some of the matches it showed were sometimes less then 1,000.
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