The BBC announced this afternoon that Premier League highlights will continue through their long running sports strand ‘Match of the Day’ with a new deal which will take their coverage through to 2018/2019.
In a £204 million pound deal, a small 25 million increase on the previous deal, the show fronted by Gary Lineker will remain on Saturday evenings. Its companion show MOTD 2 will be continuing on a Sunday with Mark Chapman. Also on midweeks with no Premier League games there will be a new magazine show on a Wednesday night on BBC 2 at 10pm.
Match of the Day has brought highlights in the Premier League era from 1992 all the way through apart from a 3 year spell from 2001-2004 when ITV made a poor attempt at it. It was thought with ITV’s football being down to barebones with no Champions or Europe League live from next season they would look to bolster their football output with Premier League highlights again. However it appears they didn’t even bid. ITV Sport has went through some changes in the past couple of weeks with Adrian Chiles leaving in mysterious circumstances to be replaced by Mark Pougatch. Matt Smith and Andy Townsend will also be leaving at the end of the season.
“The BBC has done a fantastic job with its Match of the Day programmes which provide high quality coverage and analysis for fans of Premier League clubs… The UK highlights allow the competition to be viewed by the maximum number of fans across the country and the addition of a mid-week magazine show will add a new dimension to the BBC’s Premier League coverage.” – Premier League Chief Executive – Richard Scudamore
Barbara Slater, director BBC Sport added: “We’re delighted to retain the rights to show Premier League highlights on the BBC, and continue to bring the most popular league in the world to our audiences.”
“Match of the Day is the most iconic brand in television sport, and we work hard to ensure that it continues to be the destination for millions of viewers each weekend across platforms. It’s very exciting to be able to add a new midweek show to the mix, reflecting the continued appetite for Premier League action and analysis.”
Host Gary Lineker tweeted: “Thrilled to report that the BBC retains the rights to show @premierleague highlights. Long live Match Of The Day.”
The BBC is set for a fight on some other sports rights as Wimbledon and the Open Golf Championships could be set for some pay TV coverage.