Clubs 'reject ITV and ntl rights offer'

Stylised drawing of a footballer

Chairmen of England's Premier League football clubs have reportedly dismissed an outline bid for rights to air live match coverage from ITV and ntl.

The offer coincided with attempts by the European Commission and the league to agree a compromise which would see rights shared between a main provider and other broadcasters. BSkyB has enjoyed a monopoly on live rights since 1993; the EC is pushing for half the live games to be shared after the current deal expires in 2007.

The Independent said the league chairman had rejected the ITV and ntl offer at a meeting yesterday. Some had considered the approach a "publicity stunt", said the newspaper.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore is set to meet EC competition chief Neelie Kroes next week to discuss Brussels' stance on the rights issue.

Meanwhile, the UK's Five has declared that it will be a bidder for rights to live matches. The Financial Times said Five's programming chief Dan Chambers told an industry lunch this week that "everyone is going to go after it", and that the contest would become a "huge bidding war".

Lovelace Consulting  |  14.10.2005

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