The Premier League have sold their live television broadcast rights to Sky and BT for a total of £3.018billion.
The Premier League sold domestic live television rights for the seasons 2013/14-2015/16 to Sky and new broadcast partner BT for the combined total.
The staggering new deal represents an increase of £1.245billion on the current partnership with Sky and ESPN and destroys any suggestion that the Premier League's bubble has burst.
After two rounds of sealed bids, Sky paid £2.28billion for the rights to five of the seven available packages, which translates to 116 live matches a season.
BT acquired two packages for a total of £738million and will broadcast 38 matches in each of the three seasons covered by the deal, including 18 of the first-choice games.
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, with tongue firmly in cheek, described the new deals as "a decent commercial increase" and he admitted to being surprised by the final total.
But Scudamore believes the thrilling climax to last season, when Manchester City won the title on a dramatic final day, was a significant factor in the recession-busting 70% increase.
"We have just come off the back of a fantastic season and, yes, it has been good for us that we are in the market and selling something at the time when what we are displaying on the field, and therefore able to broadcast, is an attractive proposition," Scudamore said.
"We couldn't have gone to market at a better time.
"The competition has continued to wow audiences. It is a compelling product. People want to watch it and therefore broadcasters want to broadcast it.
"We had numerous bidders in this commercial procedure. Competition drives value for us and it is the voracity of the competition that really drives value.
"I have done five of these deals and every time people say the bubble has burst.
"The way this money is divided between all the clubs means our smallest clubs are able to take on the big clubs. In our league that happens more than anywhere else.
"As long as we can still have the teams in the bottom three beating teams in the top three frequently enough to happen every season then we have a compellingly competitive competition.
"As long as that continues people will continue to want to invest."
Under the new deal, the team that finishes bottom of the league will earn roughly the same as Manchester City earned this season.
Scudamore also believes the size of the new collective deal will help England's top clubs compete on the European stage against rivals who benefit from selling their own broadcasting rights.
"This will take our clubs up a notch closer to those clubs who benefit from the individual selling model, say in Spain," Scudamore said,
"I hope this will keep our league as competitive as it can be, under a collective selling model, with the other leagues."
The new deal will extend Sky's relationship with the Premier League to 24 years while the governing body are breaking new ground with BT.
"We are very much looking forward to seeing what they will do, combining the pulling power of the Premier Leauge with their technology and expertise to bring our great competition to fans in ever-evolving and progressive ways," Scudamore said.
"There is a technological shift going on."
BT will launch their own "football-focused channel" through BT Vision, which will offer new interactive features, but they will look to make it available on other platforms.
"BT is investing £2.5billion in fibre broadband. Securing Premier League rights fits naturally with this as consumers increasingly want to buy their broadband and entertainment services from a single provider," said BT chief executive Ian Livingstone.
Sky's five packages cover matches on Saturday evenings, Sunday lunchtimes, Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings.
BT have bought the rights to matches that kick-off at 12.45pm on a Saturday and for Bank Holiday and midweek games.
ESPN have one more year remaining on the current deal before the new arrangement kicks in.
"ESPN have been a great partner and will continue next year to be a great partner. We have relationships with them all over the world and we will continue to have relationships with them," Scudamore said.
"They will have our full support next season but obviously the competitive nature of this means they didn't win out this time."
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.
what do you think?
Ridiculous amount of money and a so called recession? ITV and BBC cannot afford to compete, therefore many aged people who do not have Sky will not be able to see the football. Its time the Government stepped in and made Sky produce some really good dramas, like ITV's Downton Abbey, they would not then have so much money to spend on sport rights.
They can spend as much as they like, I will never pay to watch television.
That's my ESPN subscription being cancelled next may then