BSkyB agree billion-pound Premier League deal

BSkyBLondon  - Premier League clubs reacted with relief on Wednesday after broadcaster BSkyB agreed what is believed to be a billion-pound-plus (1.45 billion dollars) deal to retain live rights between 2010 and 2013.

Sky have won four of the six packages of 23 games, paying a figure close to the 1.31 billion pounds they are paying under the current deal.

The deal gives clubs a measure of security in uncertain times.

The Premier League refused to confirm which packages Sky have taken, but it is thought they will again have first-choice of games.

Last week, it was announced that the BBC had paid 173 million pounds over three years to retain the right to screen domestic highlights.

The remaining two packages - each of 23 games, and assumed to be the Saturday tea-time and Monday evening games - will go to a second round of bidding.

It is believed Setanta, who paid 392 million pounds last time round, are facing competition from ESPN. (dpa)