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UK: Premier League TV rights probe dropped

 |  August 8, 2016

An investigation into the sale of TV rights for top-flight football matches has been ditched after the Premier League upped the number of games available for live broadcast.

Ofcom has shut down the probe following the Premier League’s decision to increase the number of live matches to a minimum of 190 per season from the beginning of 2019-20.

The media regulator said it was also scrapping the investigation so it could use its resources ‘more effectively on other priorities’.
Ofcom trained its sights on the Premier League after a complaint was lodged by Virgin Media about how live TV rights are auctioned.

The cable operator argued that by not showing all 380 matches live, the Premier League was keeping prices high and driving down customer choice.

Responding to Ofcom’s decision, Virgin Media welcomed the increase in live matches, but said customers are still not getting a fair deal on price.

Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s competition group director, said: ‘In deciding to close this case, we have listened carefully to football fans themselves, who expressed a range of views about how many matches should be televised.

Full Content: Reuters

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