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Yahoo! has bought the exclusive rights to screen English Premier League games highlights online for the next three seasons.

The highlights packages means that armchair football fans will be able to see five minute highlight packages of every Barclays Premier League match via Yahoo.co.uk. Highlights will be published at midnight on Sunday after weekend matches and at midnight the same day following midweek games. Delivery of the online content will be supported by advertising.

The timing of the online publication means that highlights will be published online only after weekend football games have already been screened online on TV through Match of the Day. The Yahoo! deal has no bearing on either MotD, Sky's live coverage of matches or streaming media subscription services offered by specific clubs, such as liverpool.tv, or international broadcasting rights agreements.

An estimated cumulative global audience 2.65 billion saw at least some of the 100,000 hours of Premier League coverage broadcast in the 2008/09 season, according to Premier League figures.

Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, welcomed the deal at a fillip for football fans: “The way fans access Barclays Premier League action is growing ever more diverse and sophisticated. The online highlights package is an important medium for supporters of all our clubs to be able to follow match action.

Yahoo! will also syndicate Premier League highlights content to third parties. The deal follows a similar video content deal that allows highlights from the NBA (basketball), PGA (golf), NHL (hockey) and MLB (baseball) games to be released online via Yahoo.com in the US. ®

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