In the UK’s biggest ever sports sponsorship deal, Coca-Cola has signed an agreement with commercial broadcaster ITV to sponsor the latter’s Premier League soccer highlights programmes.

Under the deal, the soft drinks titan will pay out £50 million ($70.17m) to ITV over three years. In return, Coke will become the sponsor of Saturday-night ‘highlights’ programmes as well as shows during the week. The agreement also includes advertising and an off-screen marketing push.

Credit card giant Barclaycard – which signed a £48m deal to become the official sponsor of the Premier League itself [WAMN: 02-May-01] – had first refusal on the ITV rights, but was reluctant to spend any more.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)