Oct 162014

The Premier League may give up yet more of their traditional Saturday 3pm kick-offs to satisfy bidders in the next TV rights tender.

They will want to keep both Sky and BT happy with the next three-year agreement from the 2016-17 season, with the packages on offer expected to be launched around the new year.

BT Sport, who have taken the Champions League from Sky, will want at least three packages out of the current seven, and Sky cannot afford to lose any Premier League football.

So one option being looked at by the league and mooted in ongoing talks with broadcast partners is increasing the number of live matches to be sold. That went up from 138 to 154 in the last auction but is still less than half the 380 games in a PL season.

An extra Sunday night slot — like Spain’s La Liga — could be shoehorned into the TV schedule to give BT the opportunity to screen more games, while Sky would at least retain their current share.