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Would Google bid for Premier League TV rights?

Might Google make a bid for the Premier League TV rights, the golden asset that has made BSkyB into the astonishing success it is today?

That is the mischievous suggestion floated by the LoveFilm group’s digital officer Lesley MacKenzie at the Media Playground 2010 conference.

According to reports MacKenzie said the online giant has proved it has the know-how with its live broadcasts of IPL cricket on YouTube. And there’s no doubt Google has the cash to enter the TV market as a serious contender.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt dismissed the idea but there’ll be a few furrowed brows at BSkyB headquarters. Up till now the corporation has had the muscle to outbid its terrestrial and smaller digital TV rivals when it comes to the all-important contest for the Premier League rights.

Google however is another matter. As one of the really big beasts in the media world it could make life very difficult for BSkyB. Even if Rupert Murdoch’s firm came out on top it could see its margins and profits take a real battering.

Of course the real winners would be the Wayne Rooney and co, who would see yet more cash stuffed into their pockets, while the losers would be the clubs, many of whom are already paying two-thirds of their revenues in wages.

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About David O'Reilly

David is a former deputy editor of Campaign and writer for a number of leading titles including Management Today and the Sunday Times. He is a partner in The Editorial Partnership.
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