TalkSport Gets Share Of UK Premiership Soccer Rights
October 10, 2006 at 10:30 AM (PT)
UK Sports station TALKSPORT has nabbed a piece of the radio rights to live broadcasts of PREMIER LEAGUE soccer, taking one of seven 32-game packages available for bid. The BBC won the other six packages, but the move means that the package previously aired on the BBC's digital channel FIVE LIVE SPORTS EXTRA will move to TALKSPORT in a three-year deal starting next AUGUST, marking the first time a national commercial station has aired live PREMIERSHIP soccer. TALKSPORT will get the second choice of games played at 3p local time SATURDAYS, picking after the BBC has its first choice.
The TALKSPORT win was made possible by new EUROPEAN UNION rules requiring the league to divide radio and TV rights into seven radio packages and six TV packages, with no company allowed to win all of the packages in either medium. BRITISH SKY BROADCASTING won four of the six PREMIERSHIP TV packages and SETANTA won the other two; BBC TV won a three-year deal for PREMIER LEAGUE highlights, and cable's NTL/TELEWEST nabbed a contract to show almost-live five-minute clips from PREMIERSHIP matches on the Internet.