BBC retains Premier League highlights
January 29, 2015
By Colin Mann
The BBC has renewed its deal to show Premier League highlights for a further three years, through to and including the 2018/19 season. The agreement covers the weekend programming of Match Of The Day; its Sunday morning repeat; MOTD2; Football Focus; plus a new midweek magazine show to air 10pm Wednesday nights on BBC Two and BBC Two HD. It is understood the BBC paid 13.5 per cent more than the £179.7 million it bid for the current rights
Some observers suspected that ITV may try to wrest the rights, as its football programming from the 2015/16 onwards is limited to England national team qualifiers, and it has a ‘Champions League’ dividend available having lost its live rights – shared with Sky – to BT Sport .
The new midweek programme will review and preview the weekend’s action with all the latest Premier League news, going behind the scenes at Premier League clubs and bringing interviews with managers, players and those who have made their mark on the league’s illustrious history.
All of the BBC’s Premier League programmes will be available on the BBC iPlayer.
Barbara Slater, Director BBC Sport said Match of the Day was the most iconic brand in television sport, and the BBC worked hard to ensure that it continued to be the destination for millions of viewers each weekend across platforms. “It’s very exciting to be able to add a new midweek show to the mix, reflecting the continued appetite for Premier League action and analysis,” she added.
“Sport matters. It brings the nation together. It can break hearts and raise spirits. And because it matters to the public, it also matters to the BBC,” declared BBC Director General Tony Hall. “That’s why it’s fantastic news that we have kept the Premier League highlights. It’s the best and most exciting league in the world. The BBC has made the highlights programme, through Match of the Day, a national treasure, and fans can look forward to enjoying all the drama with us for another three years.”
“The BBC has done a fantastic job with its Match of the Day programmes which provide high quality coverage and analysis for fans of Premier League clubs,” commented Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore. “The UK highlights allow the competition to be viewed by the maximum number of fans across the country and the addition of a mid-week magazine show will add a new dimension to the BBC’s Premier League coverage. This season is Match of the Day’s 50th anniversary – an illustration of the BBC’s commitment to top flight English football – and a fitting year in which to renew our partnership with them.”