By Michael Millar
Date: Thursday 14 Jun 2012
Shares in BSkyB and BT Group have fallen after the firms announced they were paying over three billion pounds between them for the rights to show Premier League games next season.
Investors gave the deal the thumbs down with BSkyB shares falling 7% and BT Group dropped 3%.
The Football Association secured a record deal for the rights to Premier League games, with BSkyB and BT paying seventy per cent more than the current package.
The companies have the rights to broadcast Premier League football for three years from the start of the 2013/2014 season, having paid a combined total of £3.018bn.
This compared with the £1.773bn package the FA agreed with Sky and ESPN in 2009.
There are fears this could mean higher bills for BSKyB and BT's subscribers.
BSkyB continues to hold the lion's share of the games, having secured 116 of the 154 games on offer.
BT picked up the rights to 38 games, elbowing out ESPN.
BSkyB is paying £760m a year while BT is paying £246m per season for its first Premier League broadcast rights.
The latter said it would launch a new football-focused channel to show the games.
"It will offer new interactive features when supplied over BT's fibre network and we will look to distribute it on other platforms," the telecoms firm said.
BSkyB's chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, said the very competitive tender process had resulted in certainty for the company and its customers.
"Whilst the cost is higher, we have capacity for this increase through the combination of excellent work on cost efficiency across the business and choices over other future spending," he said.
The absence of US-based sports broadcaster EPSN surprised some commentators.
"We made a strong bid that reflected the value of the rights to our business, and we thank the Premier League for the chance to participate," said an ESPN spokesman.
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