Arsenal are red, pundits have 'insights', BT and Sky splurge £4.5bn on footie rights

It's all about the content, guys

Football goes into the net/ photo by shutterstock

BT and Sky have splurged £4.464bn to show 160 Premier League games a season from 2019/20 until 2021/22.

However, the Brit giants are splashing out less than last time, when they handed over £5.136bn for 168 games in 2015.

BT has previously been criticised for prioritising content over other areas of its business such as infrastructure, which it denies.

The telecoms goliath said it had remained "financially disciplined" during the process and is "in a strong position to make a return on this investment through subscription, wholesale, commercial and advertising revenues" especially following the acquisition of EE, which more than doubled BT's customer base.

In December, BT and Sky set aside their long-running feud and signed a deal to sell their channels on each other's platforms in the UK.

Under the deal, BT is supplying its sports channels, which show UEFA Champions League and Premier League football, to Sky. In return BT will be able to sell Sky's Now TV service – which includes Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and Sky Atlantic – to its customers.

Marc Allera, chief executive of BT's consumer division, said: "The Premier League is undoubtedly the most competitive and exciting domestic league in the world, so we're delighted that our customers will be able to continue enjoying Saturday games on BT Sport."

It includes the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, the Emirates FA Cup, MotoGP, boxing, Aviva Premiership rugby and European Rugby Champions Cup.

Stephen van Rooyen, Sky's UK chief exec, said: "We continue to invest in content that our customers value and which complements our strategy to broaden our offer. Not only do we remain the home of Premier League football but also the home of top quality drama, entertainment, comedy and other sports.

"Our disciplined approach means we continue to have the flexibility to invest in each of these areas as we choose, underlining our position as Europe's largest investor in content." ®

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