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Old 22-03-2006, 05:56 PM
Fat Tom Fat Tom is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: A Samoan Pub
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Default League welcome end to TV rights battle

The Premier League have welcomed the end of their legal battle with the European Commission over the sale of broadcasting rights.

Months of negotiations between Brussels and the Premier League have ended in a deal which breaks BSkyB's monopoly on screening the 130 live games. The EC on Wednesday formally agreed to allow the League to continue to sell the rights for all 20 clubs together, after the Premier League committed to ensuring no single broadcaster would be allowed to buy all of the live packages from 2007.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said in a statement: "This decision creates legal certainty for the FA Premier League (FAPL) and our clubs as to how we sell our rights from the 2007/8 season onwards. It is also a good outcome for supporters, whether in the stadium or watching our broadcasts."

He added: "The FAPL believes that the conditions are now in place to create maximum interest for our audiovisual rights and to take the world's most popular domestic football competition from strength to strength."

Under the agreed arrangements, more football coverage rights, including television, mobile phone and internet rights, will be made available for sale in open bidding scrutinised by an independent trustee. Rights for live coverage of Premier League games will be sold in six "packages" and no one buyer will be allowed to buy more than five.

European competition commissioner Neelie Kroes had threatened legal action against the League unless the broadcast market for live games was opened up.

She said: "The solution we have reached will benefit football fans while allowing the Premier League to maintain its timetable for the sale of its rights."

Kroes had claimed the original plans to sell future rights restricted viewing choice for British football fans, and could be a breach of EU rules on fair competition.

Wednesday's agreement will also cover broadcast sales arrangements for the next sales period up to the end of June 2013.

I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to speed around a city, keeping its speed over 50, and if its speed changed, it would explode! I think it was called, "The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down."
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