Rupert Murdoch's Sky will pay £3.58 billion to show 128 Premier League matches for three seasons from 2019/20.

The new deal brings to an end rampant inflation in the value of the domestic rights for English top-flight soccer. 

Rival BT will show 32 games a season, after its £885m bid secured one package. 

The total raised for five of seven packages points towards a fall in the value of the rights after jumps of about 70% in the previous two auctions. 

In 2015, Sky and BT smashed forecasts by paying a record £5.14 billion to show matches featuring the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, as they battled for pay-TV and broadband subscribers. 

That enabled the league to go on a shopping spree, with players such as Paul Pogba (bought by Manchester United) and Virgil van Dijk (signed by Liverpool) joining clubs for more than £75m each. 

But the two companies will pay a reduced £4.46 billion for 160 games a season in the latest three-year rights packages. 

Sky, which saw its operating profit slide 14% in Britain in the year to the end of June after it paid its Premier League bill, said its disciplined approach had paid off. 

It is spending 16% less per game than in its current package to retain a firm grip on the league that underpins its sports offer, and allows it to spend more on other content. 

BT, which will show Saturday lunchtime fixtures from August 2019, said the league remained a big part of its sports line-up. 

The two agreed in December to carry each others sports channels from early 2019 in a deal that analysts said reduced the pressure to bid ever higher sums for rights. 

Analyst Paolo Pescatore at CCS Insight said the auction result would come as a huge sigh of relief for both companies, and was great news for consumers. 

"Despite more games being available, the Premier League has failed to maximise its prized asset," he said.

"This suggests that there is clearly a ceiling that consumers are willing to pay for watching Premier League games and subsequently what providers are willing to bid for." 

The Premier League, however, said it was "extremely pleased" that BT and Sky continued to view its matches as an important part of their offering. 

There was speculation that a US internet giant such as Amazon, Facebook or Netflix would enter the fray. 

The two packages remaining to be sold, which feature simultaneous matches, could be particularly suited to an internet-streaming provider. 

However they had probably not sold because they had not achieved a reserve, analysts said. 

The Premier League said it still had interest in the last two packages from multiple bidders.