Rick Parry says drop in cost of Premier League TV rights ‘to be expected’

Former Premier League chief executive Rick Parry believes the Premier League’s latest television rights sales indicate “a little correction in the marketplace”.

Sky has retained its status as the main broadcaster of live Premier League football after claiming four of the seven available television packages for 2019-22.

BT secured the other package to have been sold so far, with two more up for grabs when the auction continues on Thursday.

The five deals done so far have brought in £4.464billion, which is just under £700million short of the total achieved in 2015, when 168 games were up for grabs.

With 40 more games a season still available for the period of the new deal, the cost-per-game price comes in at £9.3million, down from the current £10.2million.

Parry, who headed the Premier League from its launch until 1997, said: “It’s a little correction in the marketplace.

“I think the abnormal deal, the one that took everyone by surprise, was the last one – a 70 per cent increase which was way more than I think anybody was expecting. So the fact that it’s a relatively minor drop is to be expected.

“We’ve seen new deals announced recently in Germany and Italy and we’re still 65 per cent ahead of them so I think the Premier League is still in pretty rude health.”

Parry told BBC Radio 5 Live he expects income from worldwide rights deals to deliver the Premier League “a greater proportion” of its overall revenue this time.

He stressed the league was achieving results in line with forecasts.

“I don’t think anybody was predicting a significant increase this time and it’s still nearly £1.5billion a season,” Parry said.

“It’s still an awful lot of money.”

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