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Premiership TV deal must not lead to price hikes for pubs

The drinks trade has warned against higher prices for pubs after television rights for the Premier League went for a record £3bn over three years, a 71% increase.

“With so much more paid for broadcast rights than last time, this deal must not lead to a huge increase in prices for pubs,” said Brigid Simmonds OBE, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association.

“Pubs need a more competitive pricing policy, as well as alternative providers. Live sport is a key part of the pub for millions of customers, and publicans have endured huge price hikes from Sky, year after year. This has been on top of other huge pressures, such as a 42% hike in Beer Tax in the last four years.

“We will continue to raise our concerns over prices with both Ofcom and with the company itself.”

Fears are that inflated sums paid by BSkyB and BT will be passed down to the pub via an increase in the price of subscriptions to show live Premier League soccer games and possibly to the consumer.

BSkyB, which has built its business over 20 years on the back of live top flight football, retained most of the rights, securing 116 matches per season from 2013-14 in exchange for £2.3bn over three years.

But BT sprung a huge surprise by winning the rights to 38 games, including almost half the “first pick” games on offer, in exchange for £738m over three years.

BT will also offer the matches to pubs and clubs on a commercial basis.

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