News International's Acquisition Of EPL Internet, Mobile Rights A 'Rare Defeat' For Sky
BSkyB "suffered a rare defeat in a sports rights battle" last week, losing out to News Int'l "in the battle for the exclusive rights" to Internet and mobile highlights for Premier League matches, according to Mark Sweney of the London GUARDIAN. Moreover, News Int'l's winning bid "was led by a former senior Sky man" -- Mike Darcey, who after six years as COO joined the newspaper publisher as CEO at the start of the month. Sky "has been aggressively developing a mobile content strategy, launching Sky Go and Sky Now services in the last year, and was understood to be keen on the digital rights, but nevertheless failed to top the offer" submitted to the Premier League by News Int'l. ESPN, which was shut out of the Premier League live TV rights deal following a £738M ($1.16B) bid by newcomer BT, "is not thought to have submitted a bid for the digital rights" (GUARDIAN, 1/28).