OnDigital in Front for Pay-Per-View English Football

29 January 2001

Terrestrial digital broadcaster OnDigital is thought to be leading the race to win pay-per-view rights to forty games of English Premier League soccer each season.

The league is believed to favour the OnDigital bid over that from BSkyB – which has already won the rights to the flagship live package – due to possible European Commission competition concerns.

The sum on offer is unstated, but is probably more realistic than the £328 million offer previously lodged by cable operator NTL - and then withdrawn after it realised it had overbid [WAMN: 19-Oct-00].

Since the NTL debacle, the league has been gathering closed bids from various sources, either for the whole contract or for the sub-licence categories of digital TV, video-on-demand, cable TV and satellite TV.

OnDigital is believed to be leading the field for the whole contract, although it could still be overtaken at the finishing post if the aggregated sub-licence bids exceed the broadcaster’s all-embracing offer.

If OnDigital is successful, it will then be obliged to offer the rights to other platforms.

News source: Financial Times