Premier League Auction Will Test Facebook’s Sports Ambitions

If the world’s biggest technology companies are going to become major global players in the world of sports, the English Premier League will provide a clear sign.

The world’s top soccer league is about to negotiate new rights to broadcast its matches in the U.K. Owners are hoping companies such as Facebook Inc. and will bid and push the price past the current 5.1 billion-pound ($6.9 billion) three-year deal.

Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, the world’s biggest advertising company, said on Wednesday that he expects the tech companies to enter the fray. The opinion is shared by Manchester United Vice Chairman Ed Woodward. “Absolutely I think they’ll enter the mix,” he said last month.

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