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Sky will continue to screen the majority of live Barclays Premier League matches after securing viewing rights to the end of the 2018/19 season.

In the latest round of bids, Sky paid £4.176 billion to win five of the packages on offer, meaning that more live matches than ever before will be broadcast on the station, with 126 fixtures a season compared with 116 under the current contract.

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The deal also means that there will be live coverage on more days of the week, with matches now being broadcast on Friday nights for the first time, in addition to Saturday afternoons, Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings.

Sky Sports has also secured 26 first picks and 31 second picks, meaning that it will be able to offer more of the biggest matches, with every Premier League club being featured at least four times a season.

As before, Sky will offer live coverage across a range of platforms, including online and mobile, with access to all 126 matches a season available through the Sky Sports day pass and the increasingly popular week pass on NOW TV.

It is a "good result" to the bidding, according to Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Group Chief Executive, who said the outcome confirms that Sky is the "unrivalled choice" for sports fans.

He added: "We went into the Premier League auction with a clear objective and are pleased to have secured the rights that we wanted."

Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said the station is looking forward to bringing even more live Premier League football to viewers, with the top match picks and optimum viewing slots enabling fans to follow the biggest matches and rivalries more often.

"No other broadcaster comes close. The best Premier League coverage is part of an unrivalled range of sport across our seven channels and digital platforms. This new deal follows our recent success in the rights market, ensuring Sky Sports will be the first choice for years to come," he concluded.

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