LONDON: Richard Scudamore announced out of the blue that he is stepping down as executive chairman of the Premier League on the day he confirmed breaking through the glass ceiling and securing a live TV deal with Amazon.
Scudamore, a key figure in funding the English top-flight’s expansion during his 20 years in charge, told the meeting of clubs that he intending leaving by the end of the year.
His decision came also on the day the ‘big six clubs’ won their fight to take a bigger share of the top tier’s booming international broadcasting revenue.
Scudamore, 58, was chief executive from November 1999 to June 2014 before taking on his current role. He said: “Football is an intoxicating environment and therefore difficult to give up being so involved, but my passion for what football means to so many and the positive impact it can make will never diminish.”
The current three-year domestic broadcasting rights for the Premier League is worth £5.14bnshared between Sky and BT but a flattening out of prices is being offset by the long-awaited arrival of an internet streaming service deal.
Amazon will show 20 Premier League matches a season for three years from 2019, after winning one of the final two broadcast packages.
It won the rights to show every game from the first round of midweek fixtures in December and all 10 matches on 26 December as part of a three-year deal. The matches will be available free to Amazon Prime’s UK members.
The other unsold package of 20 games was bought by BT Sport for £90m.
That takes its total number of games to 52 per season, while a further 128 will be shown by Sky Sports, including prime-time Saturday night fixtures.
The Premier League had offered 200 live matches a season to broadcasters, an increase from the 168 available in 2015.
Other changes for the 2019-2022 deal include eight individual games being shown live in a ‘prime-time’ Saturday night slot, three complete rounds of 10 midweek matches all shown live, and one set of bank holiday games – now known to be 26 December.
The broadcasters bid on seven packages of fixtures and, in February, Sky Sports paid £3.58bn for four of those, while BT Sport spent £885m on another.
BT initially said it had paid £90m for its final package, which will involve a round of matches around the mooted winter break in late January or early February.
That would take its total spend to £975m over three seasons, although that information was later removed from its website.
That being so, the total value of the rights is taken to £4.55bn, with Amazon yet to announce how much it has paid.
The Premier League’s last deal, agreed in 2015 and running until 2019, was worth £5.14bn.
Premier League clubs have also agreed a new deal over sharing revenue from international broadcast deals, which will see any future increases divided according to league position.
Revenue is currently shared equally among the 20 clubs, but the bigger clubs had been pushing for a greater share of the money, arguing they are the main attraction for foreign viewers.
|What are the packages?|
|Package A – won by BT||32 matches on Saturdays at 12:30|
|Package B – won by Sky Sports||32 matches on Saturdays at 17:30|
|Package C – won by Sky Sports||24 matches on Sundays at 14:00 and eight matches on Saturdays at 19:45|
|Package D – won by Sky Sports||32 matches on Sundays at 16:30|
|Package E – won by Sky Sports||24 matches on Mondays at 20:00 or Fridays at 19:30/20:00 and eight matches on Sundays at 14:00|
|Package F – won by Amazon||10 matches from one Bank Holiday and all 10 from the Boxing Day fixture programme|
|Package G – won by BT||20 matches from two midweek fixture programmes|