The BBC has renewed its deal to show Premier League highlights for a further three years, through to and including the 2018/19 season. Many predicted ITV to make a bid during the tender process, as it had previously held the rights between 2001 and 2004, but the broadcaster withdrew, leaving the BBC to pay over £200 million for the renewal.
The agreement covers the weekend programming of Match Of The Day; its Sunday morning repeat MOTD2; Football Focus; plus a new midweek magazine show on BBC Two and BBC Two HD. MOTD and MOTD 2 reportedly draw a weekend audience of nine million fans.
“We’re delighted to retain the rights to show Premier League highlights on the BBC, and continue to bring the most popular league in the world to our audiences,” said Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport. “Match of the Day is the most iconic brand in television sport, and we work hard to ensure that it continues to be the destination for millions of viewers each weekend across platforms. It’s very exciting to be able to add a new midweek show to the mix, reflecting the continued appetite for Premier League action and analysis.”
All of the BBC’s Premier League programmes will be available on the BBC iPlayer.
The new midweek programme will review and preview the weekend’s action with Premier League news, behind the scenes footage from Premier League clubs and interviews with managers, players and those who have made their mark on the league’s history.
BBC director general Tony Hall added: “Sport matters. It brings the nation together. It can break hearts and raise spirits. And because it matters to the public, it also matters to the BBC.
“That’s why it’s fantastic news that we have kept the Premier League highlights.
“It’s the best and most exciting league in the world. The BBC has made the highlights programme, through Match of the Day, a national treasure, and fans can look forward to enjoying all the drama with us for another three years.”