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BSkyB awarded Premier League TV rights

BSkyB have kept their share of live Premier League broadcast rights for 2010 to 2013.

The Premier League announced tonight that BSkyB had been awarded four of six available packages of audio-visual rights - the same proportion the subscription-only broadcaster have held since 2006.

Two remaining packages will go to a second round of bidding "in due course".

All interested parties had to hand in their bids by Tuesday morning, with BSkyB's main rivals widely touted as Setanta and American sports network ESPN - although the identity of any other companies involved have not been revealed by the Premier League.

The Premier League insist they will not comment on the size of BSkyB's successful bid or any other facet of the tendering process until after the second round of offers.

BSkyB, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation media empire, paid a reported £1.3billion to show four packages of 23 games each for three seasons when the rights were last on offer.

Setanta, meanwhile, spent £392million on two bundles of 26 matches - handing the Premier League a total income of very nearly £1.7billion for live domestic rights over those three years.

The overseas broadcast rights, which are also up for renewal in 2010, generated a total of £625million over the same three-year period when they were renegotiated in January 2007.

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