Match of the Day saved as BBC retains rights to Premiership highlights

LONDON - The BBC has retained the rights to broadcast Premier League highlights, ensuring a future for its 'Match of the Day' football show in a three-year £171.6m deal.

The £171.6m package allows the BBC to hold on to the free-to-air highlights rights in the UK from 2007 to 2010.

The BBC will be able to continue airing the Gary Lineker-fronted programme broadcast on Saturday evenings, Sunday morning and on other evenings when games are being played.

Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, 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 its high-quality coverage through to the next decade.
 
"The deal also gives our clubs the opportunity to showcase their football to the wide and varied audience that the BBC attracts.

"The market for the highlights rights was very competitive and we were extremely impressed by other proposals. However, we now look forward to extending the great relationship we have with the BBC, one that goes further than this rights deal."

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