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Television and Broadcasting

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Bidders Line Up for Premiership TV Auction

Negotiations on the next Premiership television package are due to start in the first three months of 2009 and already potential bidders are lining up. The last three year deal covering the seasons to 2009-10 raised £1.7bn, 66 per cent more than in 2003. Packages are now sold separately to prevent any one company having a monopoly position and the last deal saw a 2:1 split of live matches between BSkyB and Setanta Sports.

England TV Highlights Mix-up

Pay television company Setanta took the unusual step last week of suspending its encryption technology so that fans could watch highlights of England's World Cup qualifying match against Croatia. The move meant that anyone with access to the channel on satellite, Freeview or cable television could watch the highlights at 11.30 p.m. (after the highlights from Scotland's game against Iceland). There had been criticism of the BBC and ITV for failing to reach a deal on the highlights with Setanta which had paid £5m for exclusive rights to broadcast the match live from Zagreb.

Bundesliga Faces Television Rights Battle

The Bundesliga, the German government and pay-TV company Premiere are locked in a three-way batle over the Bundesliga's exclusive TV rights for the future. The country's Federal Cartel Office has ruled that highlights from the Bundesliga's Saturday matches have to be available on free TV soon after the end of the day's actions and said that the big-money deal between the Bundesliga and Premiere has to be renegotiated. The more highlights that are available on free television, the less money Premiere has to pay for a deal.

Why The 39th Game Is Still On

Premiership chief executive Richard Scudamore still thinks that a 39th game played abroad is essential to secure the future of the competition. He argues that the only reason that the model of distribution of half the domestic rights income and all the foreign rights income equally is that 'the revenues are so large, enabling us to divide the income without the top clubs crying foul.