BBC secures new three-year highlights deal for Premiership

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The Independent Online

The BBC's Match of the Day will show Premier League highlights until at least 2010 after they were successful with a £171.6m bid for the rights.

The deal will see the BBC show highlights for the three seasons from 2007-08 to 2009-10 on Saturday evenings, Sunday mornings and some other evenings.

The Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "The BBC and Match of the Day have been almost synonymous with our great competition since it started and this deal allows fans to continue to access their high quality coverage through to the next decade. We are very pleased at the outcome.

"The deal also gives our clubs the opportunity to showcase their football to the wide and varied audience that the BBC attract. The market for the highlights rights was very competitive and we were extremely impressed by other proposals.

The Premier Leagueis poised for a confrontation with Fifa after football's world governing body yesterday voted in principle for all leagues across the world to have no more than 18 clubs per élite division.

Fifa has acted to counter the growing wrangles over rest periods and players being released for international duty. Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson claimed Fifa did not have the power to push through such changes. Johnson said: "Sepp Blatter cannot enforce this. There's only one group of people who decide the make-up of the Premier League and that's the 20 clubs. There is no appetite for them as a collective to reduce the size and Fifa cannot force it on us."

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