Football broadcasting rights: the English Premier League triples its US revenues

Posted on Nov 19, 2021, 6:26 PM

The broadcast of football on television still has value. The proof: the NBC channel of the NBCUniversal group, a subsidiary of the cable operator Comcast, has chosen to spend $ 2.7 billion to keep its contract to broadcast the English Premier League in the United States for six years. press, is about $ 450 million per year, a tripling of the level that the best monetized football championship in the world derived from its previous broadcast contract for the United States. This new “deal” of 380 games per season until 2028 also includes rights for coverage in Spanish.

Audiences on the rise

According to the Bloomberg agency, the Comcast group managed to win this latest call for tenders against other contenders such as Fox, Amazon and the sports channel ESPN (Disney). Last season, the average audience for games broadcast by NBC grew by 2% to 879,000 viewers. Premier League broadcasting has become key in Comcast’s offensive in streaming as European football continues to grow. popular across the Atlantic. And the parts of the famous championship where Ronaldo and Blues goalkeeper Hugo Lloris play are also broadcast on Peacock, the group’s video-on-demand subscription (SVoD) service, which remains far behind in terms of the number of subscribers compared to to the streaming leaders Netflix, Disney and Amazon.

« Stable » base

Bodes well for the rights of the Premier League in all territories. “Over the next cycle, our revenues from broadcasting both internationally and domestically [au Royaume-Uni] will give a stable base to the game as a whole, ”said Richard Masters, the boss of the Premier League, in a statement Thursday.

The outcome of the American Premier League tender was eagerly awaited to gauge the financial health of the football. The shock of the pandemic and an audiovisual landscape turned upside down by the breakthrough of streamers have contributed to creating uncertainties about the ability of many other championships in Europe to maintain valuation levels. In France, Amazon has seized the rights to broadcast the majority of the matches of the championship for 250 million euros, a level well below what had put on the table Mediapro before its failure.

To avoid any risk, the clubs and broadcasters of the English Premier League preferred in May to dispense with a call for tenders by renewing their agreement on domestic broadcasting rights. Over the next three seasons, they are therefore guaranteed to touch the same overall amount of 5 billion pounds, mainly paid by Sky, another subsidiary of Comcast. A decision taken with the approval of the British government which, however, asked for a commitment to invest in the lower leagues.

Investments in lower leagues

While all European leagues seek with varying degrees of success to supplement their income from television internationally, the league of English football clubs has also already placed rights in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and will begin sales processes for Asia-Pacific and the rest of the Americas. The revenues will in particular make it possible to target 1.6 billion pounds in favor of clubs playing in lower or amateur divisions as well as in support of initiatives and equipment in the territories.

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