Sky Sports aren’t planning to ask for a £371m rebate from the Premier League if they cancel the season, with alternative solutions in mind.
The Daily Mail report that Sky Sports won’t demand their money back from the Premier League if they call off the season. As we know, Sky still had a number of matches left to broadcast before the end of the season, matches they paid dearly for the rights to.
Sky have other ideas about how to recover the money if the season can’t conclude, though. They’re holding talks with the PL, suggesting extending the current rights deal for another season, to the end of 2022-23.
Alternatively, there’s a suggestion they could take extra live games to show next season to make up for the matches they missed this campaign.
If the season can be completed, Sky would also happily take extra games to cover for the fact fans can’t attend in person.
The suggestion in the Mail article is that BT and many overseas rights holders would also be happy with these alternative solutions. At worst, the Premier League are only expecting to have to pay up to £150m in refunds if the season is cancelled.
That still sounds like a lot, but split between 20 teams, it’s £7.5m each. About as much as you pay for an unknown teenage footballer nowadays. Plus, that’s the maximum, and it’s still possible the PL find alternative solutions with all their broadcasting partners.
To sum up, it doesn’t sound like Sky and co. are planning to shoot themselves in the foot by bankrupting the clubs that pay their wages for a quick influx of cash. This is probably a wise decision and allows the Premier League to prioritise player and fan safety.