Premier League: ITN to produce Sun and Times highlights packages

Production hub wins contract to create 9,500 clips per season for News International websites, starting in mid-August

ITN Productions has won the contract to produce News International's multimillion-pound Premier League football highlights from August.

The production firm will package 9,500 clips of top-flight games per season for the websites and mobile versions of the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times.

News International paid an estimated £20m for the rights to show Premier League highlights in January this year, placing the lucrative offering at the heart of its £2-a-week digital paywall strategy for the Sun.

The Sun is due to formally introduce its paywall in 40 days, ahead of the new Premier League season. All content on the Sun's website, including general news stories, will require a subscription under the new system.

In a memo to staff on Monday morning, the new Sun editor David Dinsmore said of the plans: "This will require a lot of careful thought and planning to make sure we hit the ground running."

The Sun, the Times and Sunday Times will be able to show up to eight 30-second clips of match highlights for three seasons, from the 2013/14 season starting on 17 August. A team of 15 ITN Productions journalists will produce those clips and produce longer highlights packages from each game supplemented by archive and studio footage.

Mark Browning, the managing director of ITN Productions, hailed the deal as a "big strategic win" for his company, which is looking to make inroads into sports content.

Perhaps best known for its current affairs programmes such as ITV's The Agenda and several Channel 4 investigations – including Monday night's Dispatches, The Police's Dirty Secret, about the Metropolitan police's use of undercover officers to infiltrate protest groups, made in collaboration with the Guardian – ITN Productions also produced Red Button packages for ITV Sport during the 2010 World Cup, and has a deal with Sports News Television (SNTV) for about 10,000 clips a year.

Browning said: "The Barclays Premier League is as big as it gets for sport in this country, and working with News International on the crown jewels in online and mobile rights firmly positions us in the sports production space. Our investment in production excellence and fast-turnaround publishing capability has paid off and we're looking forward to delivering an incredibly fast and exciting service that will give football fans something to cheer about, whoever they support."

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