However, the deal was viewed by some as less a 'radical shake-up of the TV landscape' and more a 'political settlement' (The Times, 18 November) – and even 'an unsatisfactory fudge' (The
Independent, 17 November).
The EC's departure from its initial hardline position was interpreted as a 'mockery of the condition... that at least two broadcasters have
a meaningful share of the rights' (cableforum.co.uk, 19 November).
NTL accused the EC of having 'failed to deliver a level playing field' (The Independent, 18 November).
If other bidders were perturbed by the deal, there was little evidence. Indeed there was anticipation that a bid from the BBC, ITV or Five could mark league football's return to terrestrial TV.
Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.