In terms of the division between Sky and BT for live football on television, the announcement was not much of a surprise. The split – Sky, 126 matches over three years, BT 42 – is similar to the present deal. In terms of the money paid though, it is a shock. Most analysts were predicting a price for buying the rights of ￡4bn compared to ￡3bn in 2012, the last time the rights were bid for. Richard Skudamore, the Premier League’s Chief Executive revealed it was going to be a lot higher this time.
The high cost reveals how important live football has become for paid television. In 2012 BT shocked the market by muscling into a sector which Sky had traditionally dominated. They have retained that significant presence. Sky does though still hold the bulk of the rights and will broadcast the majority of Premier League games when the new contract begins at the start of the 2016 season. They will pay the equivalent of ￡1.4bn a year, which is more than 80% more than they paid in 2012.
Football fans will be concerned that the high price paid will mean higher costs to watch football. Both businesses insist that they are cash-rich and can afford the new deals. The Premier League will be celebrating – more cash from the broadcasters means more cash for Premier League football clubs and the stars they pay many millions of pounds to employ.
muscling into 攻入
significant presence 占据重要地位
to employ 雇用