Premier League TV deals – when does the new contract go up for grabs?

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The Premier League is expected to get several bids for the right to air games as the deadline for bids approaches this month.

Sky Sports and BT Sport currently have the rights to show top-flight games but with the Premier League becoming ever more lucrative, other companies such as Facebook and Amazon are tipped to join the race for the rights – pushing up the price.

Clubs fighting relegation to the Championship know how important survival is in terms of getting a slice of the TV money which is spread out among the 20 clubs.

Many Newcastle United fans feel that Mike Ashley’s attempts to sell the club will step up once the agreement has been made between the Premier League and those firms vying for the TV rights.

The money on offer may well encourage Amanda Staveley to come back in with a new bid for the Magpies but also provoke new interested parties.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What are the current TV rights and who has them?

Sky Sports and BT Sport have the current rights. Sky paid £4.18billion for 126 games while BT splashed out £960million for 42 live matches

What is so special about the new TV rights deal?

It runs from 2019-20, for three years and there’s an expectation that the price paid to the Premier League could increase by up to 23 per cent on the price Sky and BT paid last time out – which would represent a huge increase in income for Premier League clubs.

Who is said to be in the battle for the TV rights deal?

Sky Sports and BT Sport are back in for it while Amazon and Facebook are tipped to join the race. However BT’s chief executive Gavin Patterson has suggested that his firm will not pay over the odds for the rights should it turn into an auction.

Asked if BT Sport could survive without the rights, he said: “Yes, absolutely. I don’t want in any way to diminish the importance of the Premier League of course, and the Premier League’s importance to us. But it is one of a broad set of rights. We will be competitive but ultimately won’t go beyond the price it is worth to us.”

When is the deadline for bids? When will a decision be made?

The deadline for bids is thought to be this Thursday, February 8 and the decision could even be announced later that day unless another round of bids is needed.

What does that mean for Newcastle United?

It means survival is key. Relegation in 2016 meant United missed out on the new deal which runs until the end of the 2018-19 season. That has set the Magpies back in terms of battling with many teams in the top flight transfer market. If the price for the TV deal reaches the numbers expected, that’s a serious increase in income for Premier League teams – United cannot afford to miss out.



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