The Premier League has confirmed it has extended its domestic broadcast contracts with the four current companies by three years effective from the 2022-23 campaign.
Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime will all show games live with BBC retaining their highlights rights in a deal worth £4.5bn at a time when many other leagues are seeing their TV deals collapse.
That has been helped by the Premier League receiving an exclusion order under the Competition Act, which the league said will enable it “to conclude the renewals without conducting its normal broadcast rights tender process.”
There had been fears that the value of rights would fall by several hundred million should there have been a bidding process but the government were satisfied the league’s “exceptional and compelling” reasons, focused on the pandemic, to receive the exemption.
In return the league will trickle an extra £100m down the pyramid and, it said, “will extend support to areas of the football community particularly vulnerable to the impacts of Covid-19.”
BT Sport, who will show 52 games a season, have said that teams in action in the Champions League on a Wednesday night will no longer be selected to play at lunchtime on Saturday following a number of complaints earlier this season, most notably from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
If a Champions League side is selected by BT, the Saturday slot will instead from lunchtime to 7.45pm – a move that is unlikely to be popular among supporters.
Premier League 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 and will 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.”