Premier League Richard Scudamore has admitted Sky's 20 years of coverage of England's top flight will count for nothing if they are outbid by Al Jazeera for the next three years of television rights.
Industry experts have speculated that Al Jazeera's financial clout, which has already seen the Middle East-based broadcaster wrest the French league rights from Canal Plus, could provide a serious threat to Sky. The Premier League must abide by competition regulations, meaning selling to the highest bidder if all criteria are fulfilled.
Scudamore said: "Our current arrangements - and I see no reason why our future arrangements won't have to be - are regulated, and are regulated heavily. Our packages are put out into the open market and we have to have an open tender for those packages. We have to sell to the highest compliant bidder."
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