England’s Premier League has been the world’s richest domestic soccer league for some time. That will remain the case after an auction to broadcast live games in the U.K. from 2013-16 netted the top flight a record £3.018 billion ($4.69 billion), according to the Telegraph.
Broadcasters Sky and BT submitted winning bids. Sky Sports will broadcast 116 games over the lifetime of the deal, while BT promises to offer fans a unique, interactive television experience in the 38 games it will air.
The record amount represents a a 70 per cent increase on the previous deal, clubs will see their annual income from domestic television grow by over £30 million ($46.5 million).
ESPN suffered a heavy defeat in the auction. The American sports giant used its live coverage to establish a beachhead in the U.K., but it will loses the rights to air games in the country after the 2012-13 season.
Domestic television income is distributed unevenly, based on each club’s finish in the previous season. The team that finishes at the bottom of the league can expect £35.8 million ($55.5 million) to soften the blow of relegation. The champion will earn more than £72 million ($112.6 million), which will undoubtedly help it stay at the top of the heap.