LONDON: A further remarkable austerity-defying explosion in Premier League television rights has been agreed for the three years from 2016 to 2019.
The latest auction has concluded with Sky and BT Sport agreeing to pay the Premier League £5.136bn to share live TV rights for those three seasons.
Many analysts had expected a rise ‘only’ to around £4bn.
Sky has been granted five of the seven match packages on offer, including the first Friday evening games and both Sunday packages.
Under the contract, which represents a 70pc increase on Sky and BT Sport’s current deal, 168 games will be shown live, at an average cost of £10.2m.
Sky is paying 4.176bn for 126 matches per season and BT £960m for 42 games.
Clubs will come under heavy pressure to review their match ticket pricing.
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said he had given no thought to the overseas rights for the same period, which have not yet been sold.
“Burnley are bigger economically than Ajax, which says a lot about how our league is made up,” he said.