British satellite operator BSkyB late last week jumped into the shoes recently vacated by defunct dTV rival ITV Digital by snapping up live rights to the English Football League for a cut-price £95 million ($145m; €148m).
Under the four-year deal, Sky will broadcast 60 games a year from the League (the three soccer divisions below the elite Premier League), Worthington Cup and LDV Trophy.
At under £25m a year, the agreement’s value is a fraction of the £315m three-year deal the League forged in 2000 with ITV Digital. However, ITVd’s collapse – largely due to its inability to honour this contract – has left the football authority desperate for cash to prevent member clubs collapsing.
The League is pursuing a lawsuit against ITVd’s parents Carlton Communications and Granada Media to recoup the £178.5m it is still owed. It vowed to continue the legal action despite the Sky deal.
News source: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff