Premier League highlights: BBC renews football deal for next three years to ensure it keeps Match of the Day and adds midweek programme

There had been rumours evening highlights might move over to ITV

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The Independent Online

The BBC has renewed its deal with the Premier League to show evening highlights, ending speculation that the rights for a Match of the Day-style programme would go to ITV.

The deal includes a new midweek instalment of Match of the Day on Wednesdays, as well as ensuring that the broadcaster keeps its Saturday programme, hosted by Gary Lineker, and Match of the Day 2 on Sundays.

It means the right to show highlights will be with the BBC until at least the end of the 2018/19 season.

The new midweek programme will air at 10pm on Wednesdays on BBC Two and BBC Two HD, the broadcaster said.

In a statement, it said the new show would "review and preview the weekend's action", as well as providing "the latest Premier League news... and interviews with managers and players".

BBC Director General Tony Hall said: "Sport matters to the public, and the BBC. That's why it's fantastic news that we have kept the Premier League highlights."

Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, said: "We're delighted. Match of the Day is the most iconic brand in television sport, and we work hard to ensure that it continues to be the destination for millions of viewers each weekend across platforms."

The deal ends speculation that the BBC would lose Match of the Day, after reports ITV had launched a rival bid with money freed up by the ending of its Champions League and FA Cup coverage. It was reported today that ITV had made no such bid.

The BBC deal was claimed to be worth £204m, though this was not confirmed by the broadcaster.

It is understood that Lineker will continue to host the programme into the new contract. His own deal may be renegotiated to allow him to also present BT Sport's midweek Champions League coverage, according to the Mail.

It was reported that the last three-year highlights deal cost the BBC around £180m.

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