Sky maintains position as main broadcaster of live Premier League football

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Yet in the new tranche of rights, Sky has nabbed the four main totalling 128 games a season, up from 126 matches now, for "just" £1.193 billion per annum, representing a 16% cost reduction per game compared with the current agreement.

BT claimed the other package to have been sold so far, switching from its current 5.30pm slot on Saturdays to 32 games at 12.30pm.

BT Sport won the EPL's package A, with the 32 matches at half past midday on Saturday.

However, unless its buys one of the two unsold packages, BT's overall Premier League cost will fall from £320m to £295m per season. These consist of 20 Bank holiday or midweek games each, per season.

The battle between BT and Sky reached new heights in 2015 after Sky spent around £1.392bn and BT splashed out £320m per season on a major Premier League TV football rights deal for the 2016/17 to 2018/19 seasons (here).

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The five packages totalling 160 matches...

And for the first time, Sky will televise Premier League games on Saturday nights, with a 7.45pm kick off time.

The two remaining packages of two full matchday programmes have not yet been bought, which means the auction will continue on Thursday. "It is already challenging to sign up to both BT Sports and Sky Sports, but had an online giant got involved that would have meant another billing relationship and destination".

BT will air games on Saturday lunchtimes from August 2019 and the company said that it "remained financially disciplined during this process".

The five Premier League packages of the seven to be sold have netted £700 million less than the total achieved in 2015, when 168 games were up for grabs.

The English Premier League has sold the majority of its TV matchday broadcast rights for the period spanning 2019-2022.

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said: "We are extremely pleased that BT and Sky continue to view the Premier League and our clubs as such an important part of their offering".

In addition to the remaining two United Kingdom packages to be decided, a further windfall will be expected when the overseas rights are sold.

He added: "'Not only do we remain the home of Premier League football but also the home of top quality drama, entertainment, comedy and other sports", he said.

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