Huge TV cash boost for Newcastle and Sunderland

TV CASH BOOST ... for Newcastle United and Sunderland.
TV CASH BOOST ... for Newcastle United and Sunderland.

NEWCASTLE United and Sunderland AFC are set to net a massive cash boost after the rights for live Premier League matches were sold for more than £3bn.

Sky and new broadcast partner BT snapped up the domestic live TV rights for the seasons 2013/14 and 2015/16.

The deal represents an increase of £1.245bn on the present partnership with Sky and ESPN.

After two rounds of sealed bids, Sky paid £2.28bn for the rights to five of the seven available packages – 116 live matches a season.

BT won two packages for a total of £738m and will broadcast 38 matches in each of the three seasons covered by the deal, including 18 of the first-choice games.

The sales raised £3.018bn, an increase of £1.25bn on the present package, which shares rights between BSkyB and ESPN and will see clubs in the top flight handed more cash.

Under the new deal, the team that finishes bottom of the league will earn roughly the same as Manchester City earned this season.

Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, said he believes the size of the new collective deal – a 70 per cent increase – will help England’s top clubs compete on the European stage against rivals who benefit from selling their own broadcasting rights.

He said: “The way this money is divided between all the clubs means our smallest clubs are able to take on the big clubs. In our league, that happens more than anywhere else.

“As long as we can still have the teams in the bottom three beating teams in the top three frequently enough to happen every season, then we have a compellingly competitive competition.

“As long as that continues, people will continue to want to invest. This will take our clubs up a notch closer to those clubs who benefit from the individual selling model.

“I hope this will keep our league as competitive as it can be, under a collective selling model, with the other leagues.”

The new deal will extend Sky’s relationship with the Premier League to 24 years, while the governing body is breaking new ground with BT.

Sky’s five packages cover matches on Saturday evenings, Sunday lunchtimes, Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings. BT have bought the rights to matches that kick-off at 12.45pm on a Saturday and for Bank Holiday and midweek games.