DLA Piper scores role on £4.4bn Premier League TV rights deal

DLA Piper has bagged the key role advising the Premier League on the £4.4bn sale of live TV broadcasting rights to BT and Sky.

Between them, BT and Sky have secured the rights to broadcast the majority of Premier League matches played between 2019 and 2022.

BT has bought one package allowing it to screen 32 games during the period, with Sky acquiring four packages allowing it to show 128 games.

Two packages are still to be sold.

DLA is advising the Premier League on the deal, with London media law partner John Cloke in the lead role. Cloke was promoted to partnership in the firm’s 2016 promotions round.

Both Sky and BT have handled the auction in-house, with Sky’s team being led by commercial director Richard Verow, who was previously Sky’s head of legal for sports, bet and business.

DLA has longstanding links with the Premier League, with co-CEO Simon Levine counting the league among his clients.

The firm advised the Premier League on its 2015 rights auction sale, which raised a record £5.14bn. On the 2015 deal, technology and media partner Nick West and competition partner Kate Vernon led the firm’s team.

Both partners have since left DLA, with Vernon joining Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in 2016 and West retiring.

In 2016, West was hit with a £15,000 fine and a £12,000 costs order by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal after sexist emails between him and the Premier League’s then chief executive Richard Scudamore were leaked to the press in 2014.