he Premier League in England has agreed to renew its £5 billion ($7 billion) domestic television deal.
It is a move that provides greater financial certainty to clubs at all levels amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The English top-flight sought and secured government approval in principle to roll over its existing rights agreement with Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and BBC Sport.
This is for a further three years through to 2025.
Under normal circumstances, the rights would have been contested in an open tender, but the league was able to demonstrate “exceptional and compelling reasons” to the government.
This is for it to agree to an exclusion order under the Competition Act and go ahead with a private sale.
The renewal of the deal means that the Premier League’s current commitment of £1.5 billion to the football pyramid over the three years of the next rights cycle can be maintained.
This is with an additional £100 million to be distributed over the next four years.
The deal is a huge boost to the Premier League at a time when the value of broadcasting rights has generally been in decline around the world.
The league’s chief executive Richard Masters said: “The Premier League would like to express our gratitude to our broadcast partners for their continued commitment to the Premier League and support for the football pyramid.
“We are hugely appreciative of the government agreeing in principle to allow this arrangement and for their continued support for the Premier League and the English game.
“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on football, and renewals with our UK broadcast partners will reduce uncertainty, generate stability and promote confidence within the football pyramid.
“We know that once concluded, this will have a positive impact on the wider industry, jobs and tax revenues.
“It will also enable us to maintain and increase our existing solidarity and community financial commitments to the football pyramid for the next four years, even though we are yet to understand the full impact of the pandemic.
“It comes at an important time and will enable us to plan ahead with increased certainty against a more stable economic backdrop.”
The agreement means 200 matches a season will continue to be broadcast live – 128 on Sky, 52 on BT and 20 on Amazon.
There is one change from the previous agreement though. This is if a team involved in a 12:30 p.m. Saturday match on BT is involved in a Champions League match on the Wednesday before, the domestic match will move to a 7:45 p.m. Saturday slot instead.