ESPN loses rights to Premier League games to BT

BSkyB retains its TV rights for 2013-2016

ESPN has lost the rights to show live Premier League games for 2013-2014, with BT snapping up the 38 matches on offer.

It was thought that ESPN would have a touch time holding on to the rights, with broadcasters such as Al Jazeera mooted to bid for the games, but it's BT which has won the rights and will get to show Premier League content when the 2013 season commences.

ESPN had originally bought up the rights to show 46 Premier League games back in 2009, taking the content off the hands of beleaguered broadcaster Setanta.

The games were made available through BSkyB but you had to sign up and pay extra for the ESPN channel.

Money spinner

Now BT has the rights but the number has been lowered to 38 - it includes 18 of its first-choice picks and this means that BSkyB has managed to get its maximum quota of games, which is 116.

When it comes to money, Sky is now paying £760 million a year for 116 games, which is a huge increase considering it is currently paying £541 million a year.

Break this down to a game by game basis and it equates to £6.6 million – let's hope the likes of newly promoted Reading understand that they need to put in a good display for this money to make any sense.

In total, the Premier League is set to gain over £3 billion for television rights.

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