Commercial broadcasters BSkyB, NTL and ITV have snatched the TV rights for all Premier League soccer fixtures, depriving the BBC of the right to televise Premiership games on its flagship sports programme Match of the Day - one of the last remaining jewels in its sporting crown.

The combined bids of Sky and ITV are worth some £1.6bn over the next three years, although the value of NTL’s successful offer for forty pay-per-view games is not known.

BSkyB's bid for all 66 live games fended-off rivals NTL and OnDigital, while NTL's bid for the pay-per-view rights was higher than those of OnDigital, media group Pearson and cable network Telewest.

News source: Financial Times