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Could US Bids For British Sports Network Be Part of Premier League Play?

NBC is going to fight like hell to keep the US television rights to the English Premier League. It is more important than ever after the network lost the TV rights to the NHL. They will have plenty of competition though and it looks like the British television network BT Sport is going to play a major role.

BT Sport’s owner, BT Group, is in preliminary discussions with “select strategic partners” about a sale. Those involved include Amazon, DAZN, and Disney. All of them have also expressed interest in taking over the Premier League’s US TV deal.

Since 2012, BT Sport has been one of the TV homes of the Premier League in the UK. Recently, the league announced its intention to extend all of its current TV deals and skip the customary rights auction. If that happens and DAZN or Disney have acquired a stake in BT Sport, it would elminate Comcast and NBC’s advantage of being the only US broadcaster to own a piece of one of the Premier League’s domestic broadcast partners.

In 2012, BT Group paid $12.6 billion for rights to the Premier League. That likely will play a large role in determining a sales price. Any group willing to spend money like that will likely expect some deference or advantage that would allow them to package their bid to carry games in both England and the United States.

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