Top-flight clubs eyeing a financial bonanza as television revenue set to reach new heights

Tue, Nov 13, 2012, 00:00

Premier League clubs are in line for a huge hike in television income from next season, with revenue from domestic and global TV rights deals on course to top €6.25 billion by the time the final overseas contracts are tied up next month.

On top of the blockbuster €3.77 billion deal announced in June for domestic live rights with Sky and BT for the three seasons from 2013-14, and the €222 million banked from the BBC for Match of the Day highlights, the Premier League is well on course to improve on the €1.75 billion it brought in from overseas broadcasters under the current deal.

If the total revenue breaks through the €6.25 billion barrier as expected, the amount the title-winning club receives from 2013-14 is likely to top €125 million for the first time.

Premier League clubs will be updated on the latest deals to be signed at a meeting this week, when they will also discuss proposals to try to introduce a domestic version of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play policy or other cost-control measures such as a restriction on wage growth.

The hike in income will be cheered by clubs trying to balance their budgets to comply with Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules and looking to exploit their commercial potential around the world, but will also increase fears that it will be passed on in players’ wages.

The existing TV deals, which run to the end of this season, themselves marked a huge increase in overseas income from €812 million for the previous three years to around €1.75 billion for 2010–2013.

In total the current deals are worth around €4.37 billion, meaning the Premier League clubs are on course to collectively achieve an increase of more than €625 million a year.

Overseas income is shared out on an equal basis between all 20 clubs, while income from domestic rights is allocated according to a sliding scale based on league position and the number of appearances on TV.

Just as the exponential rise in domestic income has been driven by competition between Sky and rivals over the past 20 years, so the same process is playing out elsewhere. In the US, NBC outbid incumbents Fox and ESPN and will pay around $250 million (€196m) over three seasons, tripling the existing contract, to show more games on its network.

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