Belfast Telegraph

MOTD holds on to highlights

The BBC's Match of the Day has retained the rights to Premier League highlights for three more years after a successful bid of £204million.

The Premier League has announced that the BBC has won the rights for terrestrial highlights for the three seasons 2016/17 to 2018/19.

There had been reports that ITV would launch a rival bid but it is understood it decided not to do so. The rights cover the Saturday evening Match of the Day programme, the Sunday morning repeat, MOTD2 on Sunday evenings and other evenings when Premier League fixtures justify a programme.

MOTD's main presenter Gary Lineker reacted on Twitter saying: "Thrilled to report that the BBC retains the rights to show @premierleague highlights. Long live Match Of The Day"

The Premier League highlights rights will for the first time include a midweek magazine programme at 10pm on BBC Two.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "The BBC has done a fantastic job with its Match of the Day programmes which provide high quality coverage and analysis for fans of Premier League clubs.

"The UK highlights allow the competition to be viewed by the maximum number of fans across the country and the addition of a midweek magazine show will add a new dimension to the BBC's Premier League coverage.

"This season is Match of the Day's 50th anniversary - an illustration of the BBC's commitment to top flight English football - and a fitting year in which to renew our partnership with them."

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, added: "We're delighted to retain the rights to show Premier League highlights on the BBC, and continue to bring the most popular league in the world to our audiences.

"Match of the Day is the most iconic brand in television sport and we work hard to ensure that it continues to be the destination for millions of viewers each weekend across platforms.

"It's very exciting to be able to add a new midweek show to the mix, reflecting the continued appetite for Premier League action and analysis."

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