Karen said e&’s stake amounted to “another shareholder to add to the pressure on Read . . . at a crucial time for him."

“A company like that doesn’t take a sizeable minority position unless they think they can have a lot of influence and I don’t think that they would buy a company like Vodafone unless they thought that momentum was about to change quite considerably."

Julian said It does not sound like prices for consumers will increase as a direct result of this deal, at least not initially. BT has said that customers who get BT Sport directly from BT will receive Discovery+ as part of their existing subscriptions."

"Of course, the combined entity will remain a major rival to Sky, but they are also important partners to each other, and that will ensure too. In February, BT announced that its cross-wholesale TV content deal with Sky will 'in principle" be extended beyond 2030. "This signals that a return to aggressive bidding on premium sports rights is very unlikely, meaning there is less likelihood of higher programming costs needing to be passed onto consumers."

Julian said "The Premier League has secured a very, very significant, substantial increase on the previous deal. On what was effectively a billion US dollar deal over the course of six years, it is now at $2.7 billion over the course of six years."

"That’s a two-and-a-half- to three-times increase in the value of the rights in the US which is very, very healthy and which the Premier League really needs to do because the revenue that it's getting from domestic broadcasters, the domestic rights, is basically factored down. In terms of the prospects going forward for the Premier League, it is basically all about trying to expand its revenues and gross revenues abroad, particularly in America."