The English Premier League is in talks to skip another UK TV rights auction and extend existing contracts with Sky, Amazon and BT Sport, according to multiple reports.
The football competition is exploring the idea with existing rights holders and the government, fearing an auction could lead to a deal valued at less than £ 5bn ($ 7bn) in 2018. Ministers should penalize turnover since it could raise competition concerns.
According to plans, Sky, Amazon and BT Sport could retain their rights until 2025 on roughly the same terms they currently enjoy, according to the BBC, Financial Times and others. Those familiar with the case have said it will bring financial stability to clubs at a time when the pandemic is excluding fans from stadiums.
Renewing the deals would mean not granting open competition rights, which could be a blow to new entrants, such as streamer DAZN led by Kevin Mayer, who has become a formidable player in the field of sports rights and has declared at the Premier League auction. DAZN recently beat Sky to Serie A rights in Italy.
Sky, Amazon and BT Sport declined to comment. Deadline has contacted the Premier League for comment.