The richest football league in the world is about to get a whole lot richer as revenue from domestic and global TV rights deals on course to top £5bn by the time the final overseas contracts are tied up next month.
If the total revenue breaks through the £5bn barrier as expected, the amount that the title-winning club receives from 2013-14 is likely to top £100m for the first time.
Premier League owners were already rubbing their hands with glee over the blockbuster £3.018bn deal announced in June for domestic live rights with Sky and BT for the three seasons from 2013-14, and the £178m from the BBC for Match of the Day highlights.
It is the overseas broadcast rights however where the Premier League is seeing the biggest growth. The Premier League claims that its matches are broadcast to 720m homes in 212 territories and the “cumulative audience” for Premier League matches worldwide was 4.7bn making it the most watched league in the world.
The existing TV deals, which run to the end of this season, themselves marked a huge increase in overseas income from £650m for the previous three years to around £1.4bn for 2010 to 2013. In total the current deals are worth around £3.5bn, meaning that the Premier League clubs are on course to collectively achieve an uplift of more than £500m a year.
That is why staying in the Premier League is so important this year because of the massive increases in TV revenue. Which is why I believe we will have an extremely active January transfer market. If you are in the bottom half of the league would you not spend £25-30m on new players if it kept you up? As an owner you would make that money back and more from the TV deal next year.
I wonder how it will also impact teams who don’t make the Champions League next season. The lure of the Champions League was the £30-50m that clubs could make from winning it. But if you finish fifth or sixth next year and don’t make the Champions League, but revenues still go up by £30-50m many owners will not be that upset.