The bidding for Premier League rights for 2016 onwards (see the BBC report below) that is coming to a head today is of course merely another aspect of the telecoms market changes shown in the recent merger activity between BT and EE, and O2 and Hutchison Whampoa. Meanwhile Sky, TalkTalk and others are building up their range of services, particularly through broadband and TV bundling. What they all need to bring in the new customers, they think, is more football (and other content). Apparently, like central London house prices, there is no limit to the price for this product. Personally it's the rugby for me tonight, and this one's on the BBC.
Today is the deadline for the first round of bids for the rights to broadcast live Premier League football from 2016 onwards. For the big sport broadcasting guns - Sky and BT - live football is, or has become, a vital part of their business model. Between them they paid £3bn in 2012, using live football not only as a way to encourage new customers to pay for their services but to defend other parts of their empire, particularly the sale of broadband packages.