Leeds United: Less TV money on offer if United are promoted next term

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom
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Leeds United could be playing for less per televised match - if they are promoted to the Premier League after this season.

Sky and BT have agreed a new rights package of television rights for 2019-22, with the former maintaining its dominant position as the broadcaster of Premier League football.

But with five of the seven packages agreed the ones that have gone so far have cost £4.464billion - which is just under £700million short of the total achieved in 2015, when 168 games were up for grabs.

With 40 more games a season still to be sold, the cost-per-game price is £9.3m, down from the current £10.2m.

The Championship Whites are currently one of Sky’s big draws for its schedule and a return to the top flight by Leeds, would be sure to spark big interest for the broadcaster.

Paul Heckingbottom’s side were relegated out of the top flight in 2004 and since then the financial landscape in British football has changed beyond all recognition - but even with the drop in Premier TV revenue it is still a massive increase on what United earn in the Championship now.

In all, Sky picked up 128 games, including all the matches on Fridays, Sundays and Monday evenings.

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.

The two remaining packages of two full matchday programmes have not yet been bought, which means the auction will continue on Thursday.

With no single bidder able to buy more than 148 of the 200 games a season, Sky can only bid for one of the two remaining 20-game packages. But it will be very content with its work so far, particularly as it has secured 15 first picks for games at 5.30pm on Saturdays and 19 at 4.30pm on Sundays.

Furthermore, Sky has bought the eight games in the new 7.45pm slot on Saturday evenings, as well as getting 24 games it can show either on Friday or Monday evenings and 32 games at 2pm on Sundays.

This will set the firm back £3.579bn over three years, nearly £200million less a season than they are paying now, or 16 per cent less a game.

In a statement, 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.

“Both broadcasters are fantastic partners for the Premier League and have a track record of making our competition available to fans across the country through their high-quality and innovative programming.

“We will now continue the sales process to deliver the best possible outcome for the remaining packages of rights in the UK and throughout the rest of the world.”