Earlier the Premiership used to sell live broadcast rights in one
block. This year it had separated the rights into four packages
in order to get around the Commission's criticism that the old arrangements
favoured large media buyers. This limits consumer access to top-flight
football. However, BSkyB got the four packages for more than £1billion.
It was able to cement its position as the only UK broadcaster to
screen live Premiership games for another three years.
A London business newspaper has indicated that the European Union's
executive branch wants the bidding process be re-started in a more
competitive fashion. The European Commission will send BSkyB and
the Premier League a list of objections to their agreement. The
agreement gives the pay TV firm exclusive rights to broadest live
Premiership games for three years starting next year. The two companies
will then have two months to respond after the list is sent.
The Premiership also runs the risk of being fined for not furnishing
the European Commission with information about the deal in advance.
EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti has expressed concern that
BSky B grabbed too much of the market. He noted that this was bad
for consumers as competition was less.