Premier League soccer fans in the U.K. will be able to watch a record 154 live matches from the 2013 season.
The increase from 138 games under existing contracts forms part of a new tender process for broadcast rights by soccer’s richest domestic competition. The league had considered scrapping a sale of domestic rights after a court ruled U.K. viewers can buy decoders from European countries where games are available cheaper.
The current three-year agreements are worth 1.78 billion pounds ($2.88 billion). BSkyB Plc has the right to broadcast 115 matches each season from 2010 to 2013, while Walt Disney Co. (DIS:US)’s ESPN shows the remaining 23 games.
Under the new tender, 154 games will be split into seven packages, comprising five of 26 games and two of 12 each.
“No single buyer will be allowed to acquire more than 116 matches,” the league said in a statement. “This creates a more attractive and compelling offering for both broadcasters and fans.”
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