The Premier League has agreed to roll over its existing television deal with broadcasters for a further three years.
The new deal with Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and BBC Sport will run from 2022 to 2025.
The Government has approved the deal “in principle” with an “exclusion order” under the competition act, which allows the league to renew without its normal tender process.
“In light of the damaging impact of the Covid-19 pandemic throughout the English football pyramid, the Premier League was able to demonstrate to Government exceptional and compelling reasons for the Exclusion Order,” the league said.
As part of the new deal, BT Sport say that to help with the fixture congestion, they will change their Saturday lunchtime game to an evening slot when teams involved have played in Europe on the previous Wednesday.
Clubs had been concerned that there could be another fall in value if the usual open-market auction started as planned next month.
The value of rights for domestic leagues in Europe also appears to have peaked.
The Premier League say that the renewals will provide financial certainty to professional clubs and also enables an additional £100m of funding to be provided to clubs throughout the football pyramid over the next four years.
The extra funding will be available to more than 1,000 clubs in the National League system, women’s and girls’ football, EFL League One and League Two clubs and the Football Foundation.
It will also support a number of football-wide projects, including the Premier League’s work looking at head injuries in football, anti-discrimination and fan groups.
The EFL said it “welcomes” the increased funding but warned: “It is important to acknowledge that the current media rights deal will preserve the status quo of an unbalanced, unsustainable, and unfair financial distribution model across English football.
“While we recognise the attempts by the government to increase the level of solidarity provided to League One and Two clubs through this process, what is more urgently required is a fundamental reset of the game’s financial model – both in terms of fairer distribution of monies at all levels and sensible, realistic cost control measures to ensure clubs will live within their means.”
‘Help the pyramid get back on its feet’ – reaction
“Covid-19 has had a significant impact on football, and renewals with our UK broadcast partners will reduce uncertainty, generate stability and promote confidence within the football pyramid,” said Premier League chief executive Richard Masters.
“We know that, once concluded, this will have a positive impact on the wider industry, jobs and tax revenues.”
The Football Association has welcomed the extra £100m of funding which chief executive Mark Bullingham says will “help the pyramid get back on its feet.”
David Kogan, the former Premier League rights executive, said the government’s involvement in the deal was a “really marked difference in the way football’s been run in the past”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s The Today programme: “This will buy the Premier League three years of some peace.”
Sky Sports and BT both said the deal was good news for its viewers. (BBC)