Match of the Day future in doubt as ITV plan Premier League rights bid
ITV is expected to place a significant bid for the Premier League highlights rights for the 2016-19 seasons in the New Year, putting the future of Match of the Day in doubt.
Reports suggest ITV is set to launch a raid on Match of the Day’s rights to top-flight highlights as broadcasters gear up for the Premier League auction despite a recent intervention from the media regulator.
The 2016-19 season package is expected to sell for more than the £180 million paid by the BBC last time.
Match of the Day recently celebrated its 50th anniversary on the BBC, and it remains a ratings hit for the corporation with Gary Lineker as its main host.
The prospect of the BBC and ITV facing off for the highlights is just one subplot for in a Premier League rights battle that will again see Sky and BT Sport competing go head to head for live games. It is not expected to be derailed by the investigation announced by Ofcom this week.
The BBC paid £60m per year to retain the rights under the current deal, which runs to the end of next season. That helped the Premier League to a record £5.5bn in broadcasting income over three years, fuelled by a bidding war between BT Sport and Sky that boosted the income from its domestic rights by 70% to £3bn.
The live rights to Premier League football are expected to remain on BT Sport and Sky Sports, who will also be going head-to-head in a bidding war for the 2016-19 season rights in the New Year.