Sky Sports and BT Sport ‘to fight with new bidder’ for Prem TV rights

Liverpool’s next six Premier League fixtures

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The Premier League could be the subject of a broadcasting shake-up when the next round of TV rights are up for grabs. Tech giants Apple are reportedly preparing to enter the frame, putting the positions of Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime Video under threat.

The current rights packages owned by the aforementioned trio are poised to run until the end of the 2024/25 season. Sky Sports enjoy the bulk of the rights, showing 140 Premier League matches per season, while BT Sport have the rights to 50 and Amazon Prime Video show two complete game weeks.

Apple are ready to throw their hats into the ring, however, as The Sun claim that a bid for the next rights package is being prepared. The multi-trillion-dollar company have already made their first foray into the football market by acquiring a ten-year contract to show MLS globally.

That deal is thought to be worth a staggering £200million per season, while they have also produced a four-part documentary on the European Super League, which came out earlier this year.

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BT Sport are set to be rebranded as TNT Sports from July this year onwards after merging with Warner Bros Discovery. The company’s managing director, Andrew Georgiou, has suggested that they will try and retain their Premier League rights once the bidding begins.

“On the next rights auction this is a premium service and our intention is to remain a premium service,” he said. “Our approach to any rights auction is to make sure we maintain that position in the market.”

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Sky Sports, meanwhile, will not undergo any such transformation before the start of next season, having dominated Premier League TV broadcasting since the division’s rebrand in 1992. It remains to be seen whether Apple’s prospective involvement changes their standing in the market.

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly addressed the situation last year and risked controversy by suggesting that the UK could learn from American sports broadcasters, with the idea of an All-Star game floated.

“Ultimately I hope the Premier League takes a little bit of a lesson from American sports,” he explained. “And really starts to figure out, why don’t we do a tournament with the bottom four sports teams, why isn’t there an All-Star game?

“People are talking about more money for the pyramid; in the MLB All-Star game this year we made [£160m] from a Monday and a Tuesday. So we’re thinking we could do a North versus South All-Star game for the Premier League, for whatever the pyramid needed quite easily.”

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