Premier League has got a major reprieve on account of an agreement with Sky Sports to defer the payment of £ 170 mn ($ 212.8 mn) rebate till 2021.
Since the League has been abruptly halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sky, BT Sports and other broadcasters have been seeking £330 mn rebate in the media rights fee to neutralise their deficit. The broadcasters have said that they will lose the amount even if the league is resumed and completed this year.
According to The Athletic, EPL clubs will have to repay a minimum £223 million to domestic broadcasters and £107 mn to other international broadcast partners.
Premier League now is scheduled to restart from June 17 as the UK Government has allowed sports action to resume behind closed doors.
Sky Sports, the Premier League broadcaster since its inception in 1992, has reportedly agreed to defer payments in excess of £170 million until 2021. The agreement, yet to be signed on dotted lines, will allay the fears of the clubs which were facing a weekly broadcast bill of £ 36 mn.
Sky, which holds the bulk of the Premier League’s live rights in the 2019-22 cycle, will reportedly broadcast 64 of the remaining 92 matches. It will make 25 matches in its quota available to free-to-air digital terrestrial viewers through its PickTV channel. These matches are those that Sky had previously not been scheduled to broadcast.
BT will show 20 matches, up from the eight it had originally been due to broadcast. The matches will only be available to BT Sport customers.
While, an agreement has been arrived at with Sky Sports, it is reported that the league will be looking for similar understanding with other broadcast partners. If league manages to arrive a similar agreement with BT Sport, the other main broadcaster UK, it will get a total reprieve to repay £223 million by 2021.
In spite of this, the £107 million owed to international broadcasters is reported to be demanded in full by the end of July 2020.
However, if the league fails to take off this year the Sky deal will also stand cancelled and the league will have an obligation to immediately pay £762 million to all broadcasters.