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Top-flight football nets new £625m deal

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18/01/2007

The English football league champions will score an extra £50m in prize money next season after the Premier League agreed a new UK investment deal for overseas television rights.

Such is the money offered that even the club finishing bottom and being relegated will pick up £30m – roughly the same as Chelsea won by being crowned champions last year.

The money is in addition to income already guaranteed from UK investment in domestic broadcast and Internet contracts. “It takes us to another level,” Premier League boss Richard Scudamore told the Daily Telegraph.

Rival broadcasters BSkyB and Setanta – traditionally the home of Irish sports like Gaelic football and hurling – are sharing the rights to Premiership games next season after bidding in a rights “auction”.

The scale of their UK investment in the top English football league is “staggering”, according to one media observer. The auction generated £1.7bn in total for the Premier League, with BSkyB paying £1.3bn for its right to screen 92 live games, while Setanta got 46 matches for £392m.

Setanta has broken Sky’s monopoly on live Premier League broadcasts and has bid for the games as it recognises the increasing popularity of the “product” with a global audience and the vast potential for advertising revenue. It is, in effect, a massive saving and investment for the company.

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