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TV deals for major soccer leagues

13 February 2015, 09:38

London - The English Premier League's jaw-dropping 5.136 billion pounds ($7.89 billion) domestic TV rights deal for the three seasons starting 2016-17 will increase its financial dominance over rival leagues.

But how do domestic leagues in Europe and beyond measure up against the EPL?


The Bundesliga has grown steadily, marking a 10th straight fiscal year of growth in 2013/14. Media revenues for the current campaign are 690 million euros ($784.94 million), set to grow to 835 million euros for 2016/17 which is about double the amount of 10 years ago.

The Bundesliga's international broadcasting rights are also still in their infancy compared to the Premier League, worth 75 million euros this season. In 2015/16 this will go up to 154 million due to a new deal, and up to 162 million in 2016/17.

"While the national market is still of great importance, internationalisation and digitisation are more than ever the engine for further growth," the German Football League (DFL) said in its 2013/14 Bundesliga report issued days ago.


The Premier League's latest blockbuster deal has increased urgency in Spain for a government law most clubs want mandating a collective bargaining arrangement for TV rights.

La Liga clubs, who negotiate their own agreements with broadcasters, are ready to go on strike if the government does not pass the law soon, Espanyol president Joan Collet said.

Real Madrid, the world's wealthiest club by income, and Barcelona, the fourth richest, together take about half the annual La Liga TV money of 650 million euros, one reason why they usually finish far ahead of their domestic rivals.

According to Esteve Calzada, CEO of Barcelona-based consulting firm Prime Time Sport, the ratio in England between the team that makes the most TV money and the one that makes the least is about 1.5 to 1 while in La Liga it is 10 to 1.


The most recent deal for Serie A domestic rights from 2015 to 2018 is worth 2.8 billion euros ($3.17 billion) with Sky Italia and Mediaset paying 943 million euros a season, 114 million euros per season more than the previous deal.

Juventus president Andrea Agnellis warned: "England, Germany and Spain have overtaken us in any number of criteria, revenue, sustainability of the business, sporting results, the value of their stadiums and the UEFA ranking."

Serie A divides the TV revenue into three slices: 40 percent is shared equally among all 20 clubs; 30 percent is divided between the clubs based on their estimated number of supporters; and the remaining 30 percent on the position in the previous season, the previous five years and historic classifications.


French Ligue 1 clubs can command just under 750 million euros from TV rights for the 2016-2020 period.

Philippe Diallo, president of the French professional clubs' union (UCPF), told L'Equipe on Thursday that the new Premier League deal would only widen the gap and make it even harder for French clubs to keep their best talent.

Also read: Chelsea and Everton charged for mass scuffle

"England have no rivals anymore. The average clubs snatch our best players... Hugo Lloris, hailed as one of the best keepers in the world, went to Tottenham, who don't play in the Champions League," he said.


Since 2011 Brazilian clubs negotiate their own deals.

Globo paid out about 1.13 billion reais ($400.04 million) to the 20 teams in Serie A in 2013, according to a study by Itau BBA, a leading investment bank -- 180 million less than in 2012, because that year included bonus payments for signing the new deal.

International TV rights income is derisory though, according to independent analyst Amir Somoggi.

"They (England and the rest of the world) internationalised and Brazil didn't do that," Somoggi said.

He said Cardiff City, who finished last in the English Premier League last season, received more income that season than Brazilian clubs Flamengo and Corinthians put together.


This upcoming MLS season (starting in March) is the first of eight years under a new U.S television deal that saw rights fees triple on the previous arrangement.

The new (reported $90 million a year, $720 million over the eight years) package is shared by Fox Sports, ESPN and the Spanish language Univision network.

It is still small fry compared to the other major sports in the U.S. The smallest of the 'big four' U.S. leagues, the NHL, gets an average of $200 million a year.

The appetite for English football is bigger too with NBC paying $250 million for a three-year deal for Premier League coverage which concludes at the end of next season.


The rights holder of the Russian championship, Liga TV, in 2012 signed a three-year contract, worth over $100 million, with the cable company NTV Plus, which shows each of the eight matches from every round live on television.

However, one match as part of the agreement is shown on free to air television, on the NTV channel. This game is normally the top game of the week, while each team has to be shown on free to air television at least once per season.

Russian fans have not bought into the cable system for watching football on television and viewership is not high.

- Reuters

Tags soccer

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