By Paul Nicholson
February 11 – For the first time the overseas broadcast rights revenues for the Premier League will be higher than the domestic broadcast deal.
Club bosses were told yesterday that the value of the international TV deals will be £5.3 billion in the 2022-25 cycle. Add that to the £5.1 billion domestic TV deal and the premier league will bank more than £10 billion in broadcast revenue over its next commercial cycle.
The international TV revenue boost comes at a time when the broadcast rights market has generally been challenged by new forms of distribution taking audience away from traditional channels.
The scale of the international increase in broadcast deals is even more remarkable considering that the international TV revenues for the 2013-16 cycle was £2.42 billion – a more than doubling of the revenue figure over the six intervening years.
For the 2016-19 cycle the international TV revenue grew to £3.82 billion, and for the 2019-22 cycle to £4.27 billion.
Comparing those numbers to the other Big 5 European leagues, the Premier League is a long way ahead, giving its clubs a huge advantage when it comes to acquiring the world’s leading players – a key selling point for the league in international markets and one which other leagues are keen to emulate.
LaLiga is the closest to the Premier League in international rights fees received and is currently in the second half of a 5-year cycle that is generating £3.7 billion over the term – £1.6 billion less than the Premier League’s new deal which is two years shorter. LaLiga’s 3-year domestic deal sees it earn £2.9 billion.
Serie A and the Bundesliga are even further behind the Premier League. Serie A is in a 3-year deal worth £569 million, while the Bundesliga is earning a similar amount but within a 4-year deal. Both leagues have announced plans to increase their international revenues.
To do that and to seriously challenge the Premier League’s revenues they will have to take on the Premier League’s core broadcast strengths of high productions.
The Premier League growth has been built on the foundation of a long and close working relationship with its broadcasters – with many of those relationships going back to the 1980s resulting in the building of large groups of Premier League fans. Utimately broadcasters are reacting to what the fans want and the audiences they deliver.
The Premier League adds to this with a transparent bidding process via public tender and by sticking to the tender rules it sets. Many broadcasters have been excluded from this kind of process by the representatives of Europe’s other big leagues.
Add in international stars on the pitch, excellent stadia and full crowd capacities creating electric atmospheres, the Premier League becomes a compelling product, particularly given the tailoring that they can for their markets. A Premier League broadcast deal is not just about signing a contract to take an international TV feed.
Ultimately the Premier League has created the blue riband of international football league product. Europe’s other leagues are playing catch-up both in terms of extracting more TV money but more significantly in building foundations that will encourage that money and create a sustainable future.
The biggest beneficiaries from the new deals will be the Premier League clubs. In the 2020-21 season they received a combined £2.45 billion, with Manchester City earning the most at £153 million and bottom club Sheffield United earning £96.5 million. That distribution was from a total TV revenue of about £2.8 billion for the season. The new deal will see the annual TV revenue jump to by about £600 million, the bulk of which is likely to go to clubs – potentially as much as an extra £30 million per season but more likely around the £25 million mark if it is distributed evenly.
The Premier League Champions next season can expect to earn £176 million against the £153 million likely to be earned this season.
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