BT vision has won the right to broadcast 38 Premier League football matches for the first time in a record £3.018 billion deal that also saw BSkyB retain its live broadcast rights.
The deal, announced on Wednesday by Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, covers the period from 2013-14 to 2015-16 with BSkyB holding on to the bumper rights of 116 games per season.
However BT will hold the domestic rights to 18 of the 38 first-choice picks, reports Sky News, meaning that some of the most sought-after matches will be featured on its service. ESPN, which currently hold the rights to half of all games broadcast, was squeezed out.
The package, which raised £1.25bn more than the current deal, a 70% increase, includes 154 live matches, an increase of 16 on the number currently broadcast, reports the BBC.
Scudamore welcomed BT as a "broadcast partner," telling a press conference that the company was at leading edge of technology and infrastructure development and would "deliver new ways in which fans will be able to follow the competition".
He also praised BSkyB for their continuing patronage of the sport, saying that "the longevity and quality of their commitment has done much for the English game as a whole.
"We went to the market at the right time." he added, commenting on the large amount raised for the deal.
"It was a very competitive process which if you are selling is a very good thing."
There had been rumours that Arabic broadcaster Al Jazeera had been bidding for the coveted rights, raising their price after winning rights to the 2022 World Cup, however Premier League officials would not confirm who had expressed interest.
The rights are extremely valuable, with thousands of Sky subscribers accessing the Premier League coverage.
For football fans to watch matches on BT Vision, they need to be signed up to the BT Broadband internet and phone service, with a connection via BT's official router, BT Home Hub. However there has been speculation that BT may start a separate channel.Suggest a correction