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Premier League closes in on £500m deal with video games maker EA Sports

Electronic Arts has agreed to pay £488m to retain its status as the Premier League's lead partner and official video-game licence-holder

File photo dated 16-01-2022 of a board with the Premier League logo. The Premier League will provide more World Cup players than any other division, with 135 of the 831 players (16 per cent) at the tournament plying their trade in the English top flight. Issue date: Tuesday November 15, 2022.

The Premier League is closing in on a commercial deal with Electronic Arts (EA), the video-games maker, that would be worth close to £500m.

Sky News has learnt the 20 Premier League clubs were briefed at a meeting on Friday a new six-year partnership with EA Sports worth about £488m is close to being finalised.

One club executive said it would deliver more than £80m annually, and would consist of EA remaining as the league's lead partner as well as retaining its exclusive electronic game licence.

The lucrative extension is said to be worth more than double the existing deal involving the two parties.

Sky Sports News understands it's this commercial strength that has helped convince the would-be defectors who considered joining the European Super League in 2021 that the Premier League is the most financially robust league in world football.

It also underlines why Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus are so keen to push through with the European Super League plans, because LaLiga and Serie A clubs currently cannot compete commercially with the Premier League.

News of the impending extension comes months after it emerged EA and FIFA, world football's governing body, were severing their ties after 30 years.

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The series of games bearing the FIFA name, and which feature teams and players from the world's top leagues, including in England, is to be rebranded under the EA name, according to reports last summer.

The Premier League and EA have had commercial ties dating back to 1998, according to one source.

The New York-listed video-game company, which has a market value of about $30bn, has been a lead partner of the Premier League since 2016.

Their new tie-up comes as Liverpool and Manchester United draw interest from potential new investors at multibillion pound valuations.

The Premier League declined to comment on Friday, while EA said: "We don't comment on details of commercial relationships, or discussions with our partners. We're proud to have a long-standing partnership with the Premier League and its clubs, and appreciate their support in our plans for EA SPORTS FC. We have nothing to announce today."

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