Sky and BT have struck a deal for the TV rights of the Premier League until 2019. The deal means a combined cost of £5.1 billion, with Sky broadcasting 126 matches and BT broadcasting 42 matches. 5.4 per cent equating to nearly £900 million was wiped off the value of Sky PLC on Wednesday morning after investors responded to the cost of the matches. BT, however, was the opposite as shares rose 3.1 per cent. The deal means that each match broadcast on the television costs £10 million. Many have complained about the inflating cost of the Premier League, saying that it will just line the pockets of the players and their agents.
BT have insisted that their matches will stay free, but others still fear that costs will eventually have to be passed onto the consumer. In 2012 the cost of the rights was £3 billion, showing the value of the game to broadcasters. Both BT and Sky use the rights as a way of luring customers to their services. BT offers the matches for free to those who subscribe to their broadband package whereas Sky uses their 126 matches to entice consumers to their TV bundles. BT has proved tough competition for Sky as it gained the rights for the three seasons from 2015. In January, the BBC agreed to pay £204 million for the highlight rights which will keep Match of the Day on the air until 2019.