News International wins rights to digital Premier League highlights
24th Jan 2013 | 20:16
No more ESPN Goals
Rupert Murdoch has strengthened his grip on Barclays Premier League coverage by snatching up the online and app-based rights to show highlights from next season.
In a £20m deal The Sun and The Times newspapers, owned by Murdoch's News International company will have exclusive rights to screen goals and highlight videos through their websites and mobile apps.
The deal entitles the papers to show eight 30-second videos from each game, as they happen, except for those games kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.
Videos from those games will be available from 5:15pm using the newspapers' subscription-based smartphone and tablet apps.
60-second highlights clips from each game will also appear online on Monday morning and stay up for a week on The Sun and The Times' websites.
Straight into the (pay)wall
The deal replaces the one currently held by the ESPN Goals app, which brought free highlights as the action happened, and the agreement with Yahoo that brought free highlights packages to its website.
Unfortunately, this means that no more free access via smartphone and tablet apps, as both The Sun and The Times apps sit behind monthly firewalls. For The Times, a 30-day subscription costs £9.99 a month.
The Times' website is also inaccessible to non-subscribers, but The Sun is yet to start charging for access to its .co.uk portal, so at least highlights will be visible there (if you're able to bear visiting that site).
ESPN vs Murdoch - Away win
Murdoch already has the Lion's share of live television games for the 2013/14 season, with Sky Sports - 39.1 per cent owned by the Aussie mogul - predictably winning the race to show 116 games.
BT was able to outbid ESPN for the remaining 38 live fixtures.
BBC's Match of the Day show, has retained its rights to show terrestrial highlights shows.