Exclusive: Two remaining Premier League TV packages could remain unsold until the summer

The rights to two packages containing entire rounds of Premier League matches could remain unsold until the summer, the Daily Telegraph can reveal. Almost a month after the auction began for the domestic rights to the world’s richest league from 2019-22, the asking price for 40 of the of the 200 games per season had still not been met. The Premier League remained determined yesterday to secure the best possible deal for its clubs, even if that meant waiting until the end of the current campaign. It sold the other 160 matches to Sky Sports and BT Sport last month for £4.464 billion over three years, all but guaranteeing it would not be able to match the £5.136bn it gets under the current three-year contract for 168 games. It would not be unprecedented for some of the Premier League’s UK rights to be awarded barely a year out from a new contract coming into force. Back in 2009, it handed matches previously held by Setanta to ESPN that summer after the former failed to make payments for those games. The entire auction was delayed three years later due to a landmark court case brought by a Portsmouth landlady over the unauthorised broadcast of matches. It remained possible yesterday for a deal to be struck at any time for the outstanding midweek and Bank Holiday packages but those involved were braced for months more uncertainty. Among the options open to the Premier League is to repackage some or all of the remaining games with other sets of rights, such as ‘near-live’ or ‘clips’ rights. That could attract higher bids from Sky and BT or internet giant Amazon, which also showed interest in the live rights. Under the rules of the auction, Sky can only buy one of the remaining two live packages so bundling all of the 40 live games together with other rights would prevent it from bidding. The Premier League would almost certainly seek to avoid this to ensure maximum competition. Continue Reading

Premier League TV growth halted as UK rights sold for $6bn

Rob Harris, Ap Global Soccer Writer Updated 6:03 pm, Tuesday, February 13, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-4', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 4', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Alastair Grant, AP Image 1of/4 CaptionClose Image 1 of 4 Chelsea's Andreas Christensen, top, heads the ball clear under pressure from West Bromwich Albion's Salomon Rondon during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. less Chelsea's Andreas Christensen, top, heads the ball clear under pressure from West Bromwich Albion's Salomon Rondon during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at ... more Photo: Alastair Grant, AP Image 2 of 4 Chelsea's Eden Hazard, second left, celebrates with teammate Cesc Fabregas after he scored his side's third goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. less Chelsea's Eden Hazard, second left, celebrates with teammate Cesc Fabregas after he scored his side's third goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Bromwich ... more Photo: Alastair Grant, AP Image 3 of 4 Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, right, falls after a challenge from West Bromwich Albion's Claudio Yacob during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. less Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, right, falls after a challenge from West Bromwich Continue Reading

English Premier League completes three-year domestic TV deal worth more than $8 billion

LONDON — The English Premier League underlined its status as the world’s richest soccer league Tuesday by completing three-year domestic television rights deals worth more than $8 billion — a 70 percent increase over the previous contracts. Sky and BT agreed to pay 5.136 billion pounds ($7.8 billion) to continue showing games live in Britain for three seasons covering the period from 2016-19. That follows the 204 million pound ($311 million) deal signed with the BBC last month for rights to league highlights. The 70 percent jump in the cost of live matches replicates the surge when the last deals with Sky and BT were secured in 2012, and should increase the financial gulf between the English topflight and rival leagues. “It will make our clubs even more competitive against our European counterparts, which has got to be good for us,” Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said. Under the new deal, Rupert Murdoch’s Sky will pay 4.18 billion pounds ($6.4 billion) to broadcast 126 games live each season, 10 more matches than in the current 2013-16 deal, and representing an 83 percent increase in the rights fee. BT was awarded the other 42 live games of the 168 on offer. BT will pay 960 million pounds ($1.46 billion) over the three seasons, compared to 738 pounds ($1.12 billion) in the current deal. The league has yet to open the bidding for foreign broadcasters, which can show all 380 games each season live. “This outcome provides a degree of certainty so clubs can continue to invest and run themselves in a sustainable manner,” Scudamore said. “It also allows us to start planning how the Premier League can continue to support the rest of the football pyramid from the grassroots upwards.” Sky has held most of the domestic rights since the Premier League’s inception in 1992, helping Murdoch’s operation become the dominant pay TV broadcaster in Britain. Continue Reading

NBC, British Premier League agree to new six-year TV deal

(AP) - NBC renewed its deal with the English Premier League for six years Monday. The network won the American rights for the top European soccer league in 2012 from Fox and ESPN with a three-year agreement. This time, the Premier League went with a longer contract that goes through the 2021-22 season. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. "LIKE" US HERE. Viewership has been soaring for international soccer in the U.S., making the Premier League a hot property with most major sports rights locked up long term. “Outstanding production, expert analysis and wide audience reach have all been beyond expectations,” Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said in a statement. “First-rate creative marketing and promotional campaigns have driven interest in our clubs, and the competition as a whole, to unprecedented levels.” RELATED: 10 MUST-WATCH GAMES FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON NBC Sports will continue to broadcast every Premier League match on TV and through streaming. USA Network added games this season to go along with NBC and NBCSN, with Spanish-language coverage on Telemundo and NBC Universo. Premier League viewership on NBC and NBCSN averaged a record 479,000 viewers last season — up 9 percent from a year earlier. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Manchester United falls to Swansea in Louis van Gaal’s Premier League debut

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Louis van Gaal made a losing start to his Premier League career with Manchester United on Saturday, with Swansea winning 2-1 to become the first away team since 1972 to open the season with a victory at Old Trafford. Gylfi Sigurdsson seized on poor defending to net the Welsh club's winner in the 72nd minute after United captain Wayne Rooney's overhead kick canceled out Ki Sung-yeung's first-half opener. "We never played as a team — that is our error," Van Gaal told BT Sport television. "But I think we have to always keep the head up and use the second step in our process better than we have done today." Van Gaal was hired by United to revive the 20-time English champions' fortunes after the team finished seventh under David Moyes last season following the retirement of Alex Ferguson. Van Gaal only began work officially a month ago after leading the Netherlands to a third-place finish at the World Cup. "We are not reaching our level that was built up already over four weeks," the Dutch manager said on United's TV channel, referring to the team's preseason tour of the United States. "We make steps and you have to learn from your steps." Moyes may have gone, but the same problems remain for United. The team lacked a cutting edge up front and the passing was sloppy at times. But the main concern for Van Gaal will be in defense. Both Sigurdsson and Ki were unmarked when they beat goalkeeper David de Gea. There was a clear lack of organization at times in defense, with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling both looking out of their comfort zone on several occasions thanks to Swansea's enterprising play and neat passing. United appeared to be missing the experience of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, who all left over the summer. Swansea managed to test United's new-look three-man defense early on as Wayne Routledge raced on to Jonjo Shelvey's throughball, but David De Gea came to the rescue. Continue Reading

U.S. World Cup hero Tim Howard to call Premier League games for NBC when not in goal for Everton

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — Tim Howard will keep doubling as an English Premier League goalkeeper and TV announcer. The U.S. star will work up to 10 games for NBC Sports Group during the upcoming season on days his EPL team, Everton, isn’t playing. He will either serve as a game commentator in the booth or as an on-site studio analyst for high-profile matches. Howard did seven games for NBCSN last season, and the network announced Tuesday that it signed him to a multiyear deal. At age 35, Howard is still one of the top goalies in the Premier League, and he showed why at the World Cup. His 16 saves in the Americans’ 2-1 loss in extra time to Belgium in the second round made him a social media sensation back home. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

After World Cup head bangings, Premier League makes sense on concussions

Headed into the Premier League season, it is not as if Kyle Martino didn’t have enough to talk about. Then league suits threw another log on the fire, adopting a stricter concussion protocol. The move will be fodder for many discussions in NBC’s Premier League studio where Martino serves as lead yakker. For the soccer idiot (that’s me), some of those July World Cup matches resembled a headbanger’s ball. Guys went airborne to strike the ball with their noggins and wound up knocking skulls. The cat with the harder head walked away. The soft-cranium fellow was left dazed and confused. Yet after a few moments of rest, a wet rag, a spray or a kiss on the cheek, he remained in the game, perhaps concussed. The Premier League will attempt to make sure that scene is not repeated during its season. Any player who either losses consciousness, or is suspected of losing it on the field, must be removed from the tilt and cannot return. The league is also ordering team doctors (not coaches) to judge whether a player has been knocked silly and whether he is healthy enough to continue playing after sustaining a head injury. In past studio appearances, Martino has been critical when players who have sustained head injuries have been allowed to keep playing. For him, the Premier League’s new protocol is a positive step. “Is this a perfect scenario?” He asked during a telephone interview. “It seems like the team doctor still has the say. Without it (the evaluation process) being 100% independent still isn’t where it needs to be. But it’s light years from where it used to be.” When Martino, who played in MLS for six seasons and appeared with the U.S. national team from 2002-2005, took a tough on-air stance concerning the concussion issue, it was met with a backlash on social media from fans who would rather see a player remain in the game and tough it out. “There are always going to be Continue Reading

Premier League comes to NBC as Manchester United looks to keep dominating

Whether you know the last 10 Premier League champions by heart or are just jumping on the “footy” bandwagon, it’s never been a better time to follow British soccer in the U.S. NBC is making sure of that, thanks to unprecedented coverage that will allow fans to watch all 380 EPL games this season, either on its TV networks or online, starting with Saturday’s opener between Liverpool and Stoke City (NBCSN, 7:45 a.m. ET). Here’s what you need to know about the beautiful game across the pond before the ball gets rolling on the 2013-14 Premier League season: THE FAVORITES MANCHESTER UNITED: The defending champs will have a hard time repeating this season, mostly due to the exit of legendary manager Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex capped his brilliant 27-year run with the Red Devils by capturing his 13th Premier League title last season, leaving massive shoes for incoming coach David Moyes to fill. The good news for Moyes is that he’s sure to get plenty of offensive firepower from Dutch forward Robin van Persie, the Premier League’s top scorer last year with 26 goals. CHELSEA: Returning manager Jose Mourinho takes the reins again at Chelsea following stints with Inter Milan and Real Madrid, and the expectations are high for the self-proclaimed “Special One.” Mou, who led the Blues to consecutive Premier League titles in 2004-05 and 2005-06, is favored by many to deliver another championship this season. He’ll have no excuses if he doesn’t, considering the level of talent that’s at his disposal. Goalie Petr Cech, defender David Luiz and winger Eden Hazard are arguably the EPL’s best players at their respective positions, while veteran mainstays Frank Lampard, John Terry and Ashley Cole should have one more quality season left in them. MANCHESTER CITY: Anything less than a championship should be considered a failure for Manchester City, which outspent all other EPL Continue Reading

Arlo White makes the jump to soccer’s big time as NBC Sports debuts its Premier League coverage

Raissman: Arlo White ready for the big League Arlo White continued talking to Rafa Marquez, then looked at a desk where a few muted cell phones rested. This was over two years ago in Philadelphia when NBC Sports' MLS crew was interviewing the Mexican star, then with the Red Bulls. "The phones suddenly started dancing toward the middle of the table," White says. "We realized something major was going on." Peacock suits were calling to alert the troops they had landed TV rights to the English Premier League, soccer's penthouse — or, as White calls it, "an enormous property." After receiving the good news, White still had a major question: Would NBC hire him as the play-by-play voice of the Premier League? Sure, he was the main man on NBC's MLS coverage and its soccer voice at the 2012 London Olympics. And sure, he made a name in the states calling Seattle Sounders tilts on TV and radio after he arrived from England, where he yakked soccer for the BBC. Would paying those dues mean anything? The magnitude of this assignment brought enormous interest from the world's top soccer voices. "There wasn't much I could do but cross my fingers and hope," White says over the telephone from his home in Derby, a city on the banks of the River Derment in the UK. "Those were nervous times." If there was anything to fall back on, it was that he and his family had become very fond of their lifestyle in Connecticut. They were not homesick. Even when NBC decided he would be their Premier League voice, there was sadness in knowing he would be packing up his family and leaving the USA, a place where he had aspired to work. "I was kind of torn," he said. "Going back home means family and friends but we will always miss America." Like a slap in the face, or a soccer ball upside his head, the melancholy feeling was replaced with one thought. "Man, this is the Premier League," he says. "This is the pinnacle for me." White's sense of practicality, and Continue Reading

Chelsea earns $195 million for winning Premier League

LONDON (AP) — Chelsea collected 150.8 million pounds ($195 million) in broadcast revenue and prize money for winning the English Premier League.That's almost two-thirds more than Leicester banked for winning the previous year's title, with Chelsea profiting from new television deals.Sunderland was relegated earlier this month as the last-place team but still earned 93.5 million pounds.The league's commercial and international broadcast revenue is split equally, giving each club 39 million pounds each.Half of the domestic TV revenue is split equally between the 20 clubs, amounting to 35.3 million pounds. A quarter of it is distributed depending on a team's finishing place and the remaining quarter based on the domestic TV appearances. That explains why Manchester City and Liverpool earned more cash than Tottenham despite finishing directly below the runners-up. PHOTOS: Best of the Premier League season Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Continue Reading