- Associated Press - Thursday, February 8, 2018

LONDON (AP) - The English Premier League is preparing to receive bids from broadcasters for the latest set of rights that will help to determine the wealth of clubs and players in the coming years.

Sealed bids must be submitted on Friday morning for the right to show 200 of the 380 matches each season between 2019 and 2022.

In the 2016-2019 cycle, Sky and BT are paying 5.14 billion pounds ($7 billion) for the rights to show 168 matches between them in Britain. On top of that, overseas broadcasters who can show all 380 matches per season are currently contributing more than 3 billion pounds over three years.

There would only be an announcement about the new domestic deals on Friday if bidding in the auction did not go to a second round.

The availability of 32 more games in new slots could help to provide a rise in the cost of rights, which surged in value by 70 percent in the last auction, with several packages of games.

Discussing the impending auction Manchester United vice chairman Ed Woodward said Thursday that “reports of the death of live sport are greatly exaggerated.”

“The league’s global cumulative audience has increased 9 percent year-by-year, with particularly strong increases in Asia and North America,” Woodward said.

The 2019-2022 Chinese rights have already been sold to online video streaming service PPTV for $700 million in the league’s biggest-ever global deal. In 2015, the American rights were sold through 2022 to NBC in a six-year deal worth $1 billion.

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