BBC unconcerned about Sky plans to put Premier League highlights on YouTube before Match Of The Day
The BBC has dismissed the idea that Match of the Day's status as the UK's most popular football show is under threat from a Sky Sports plan to make Premier League highlights available on YouTube.
PA understands the pay-TV broadcaster is considering putting out three-minute packages on the video-sharing site as early as possible, which would mean after 5.15pm on Saturdays and as soon as the games were finished on a Sunday.
The Premier League has been selling these 'clip' rights for a decade and they have, in the past, been owned by News UK, the publishers of The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times, but Sky has held them for the last three years.
During this time, it has made them available to subscribers who signed up for its mobile app, although it did share them via Twitter for one season.
But, as first reported by the Daily Mail on Thursday, it now believes that sharing these highlights with YouTube's much bigger and younger audience could boost custom for its exclusive live rights.
It does not, however, believe this should worry either the BBC, which paid £211.5million for three more years of the full Premier League highlights package last year, or the Premier League, which sold the national broadcaster those rights.
And the BBC would appear to be fairly relaxed about the prospect of Premier League goals being available online, free of charge, hours before Match of the Day airs.
In a statement released to PA, a BBC spokesperson said: "Match of the Day remains the most watched football programme in the UK with over 7million viewers across the weekend. We look forward to its return on August 10."
And speaking to PA at the Premier League Asia Trophy in China last week, the league's interim chief executive Richard Masters said: "Match of the Day does unbelievably well. We let the BBC schedule it - they know what they're doing.
"The numbers are still growing from last year. It helps if you have an unbelievable title race, obviously, but Match of the Day is still incredibly popular."