Barclaycard, the new title sponsor of the FA Premier League, will not be sponsoring ITV or BSkyB’s broadcast coverage of league games.
The card company, which agreed a &£48m three-year global title sponsorship deal last month, had first refusal to sponsor ITV’s highlights coverage or BSkyB’s live broadcast of games.
A Barclaycard spokesman says that the broadcast sponsorships do “not fit in with their football strategy”.
Granada Enterprises is understood to have been asking &£18m for a three-year sponsorship deal for the ITV rights which are held by the BBC and packaged under Match of the Day.
The ITV sponsorship will now be open to sealed bids, which have to be submitted by June 4. Interest in the TV sponsorship is understood to have come from brands in the soft drinks, beer, car, telecoms and financial sectors. Industry insiders claim that brands likely to place bids include Coca-Cola, Carling, Budweiser, Carlsberg, and Vodafone.
Ford has sponsored BSkyB’s live coverage for several years and is understood to be interested in continuing its association with the broadcaster. The new sponsorship deal will be for three years and will include 66 games a season.