BT Sport has struck the latest blow in its battle with Sky Sports for football broadcasting supremacy, as it closes in on securing the rights to Spanish football.
Sky is believed to have pulled out of the bidding process for rights to La Liga fixtures to the next three seasons, clearing the path for rival BT to host Barcelona, Real Madrid and co for the next three seasons.
After splashing out a record £4.2bn to win the rights to the vast majority of Premier League games earlier this year, Sky refused to increase its offer in a second round of bidding – according to reports figures at the company believed it had offered enough in the preliminary stage to see off BT.
Sky made its Premier League power play after it lost Champions League coverage to BT who paid £897m to show Europe's elite competition for three years.
BT now has rights to the top divisions in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and Portugal, leaving Sky with just Dutch and Scottish football for its dedicated European football channel Sky Sports 5.
It also wins the rights to La Liga – complete with its collection of attractive stars such as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo – after the Spanish football league announced it would push its late Saturday afternoon kick-offs to 17.15 so not to conflict with UK broadcasting laws which prevent live football from being shown between 14.45 and 17.15.
In 2014, fans missed the first 15 minutes of an "El Clasico" encounter due to the ruling.
BT did not comment when contacted by City A.M.