Football's pounds 20m TV goal

Deal close as Premier League aims to quadruple revenues from overseas rights

The Premier League, England's professional footballing elite, is close to signing a new record-breaking deal for the rights to foreign television coverage of its matches.

Rick Parry, the Premier League's chief executive, is understood to be in negotiations to quadruple football clubs' income from overseas TV rights to more than pounds 20m, and he is anxious to complete the deal before he leaves in April to take up the chief executive's job at Liverpool Football Club.

The current contract, which is separate from the deal with BSkyB to show live games in the UK, has a year to run. It earns the Premier League around pounds 8m a year, of which pounds 5.5m goes directly to the clubs. The remainder is distributed to regional sporting associations.

Under the contract, marketing rights to foreign TV companies are held by CSI, a Rome-based marketing and sponsorship agency.

Much Premier League football can be viewed live in many countries overseas, whether from BSkyB or BBC broadcasts - unlike in the UK, where only selected games are shown live to keep up ground attendances.

A new contract is expected to be signed before the end of the current season, and it will run until 2002.

Football insiders predict that it will be worth close to pounds 25m to the Premier League, with around pounds 20m going to the clubs after deductions. Each club that remains in the top flight for the 1998-99 season will receive at least pounds 1m a year for foreign rights to its games, compared with the pounds 270,000 a year each currently receives.

It is also believed that the new deal will not necessarily be with CSI. Instead, the Premier League will ask a number of sports marketing agencies to tender for the rights.

A spokesman for the Premier League refused to confirm that negotiations were taking place, but he did say: "The interest in Premier League games around the world is phenomenal at the moment. Since we signed the last deal in 1994, the League has gone from being in good shape to being in very good shape. We are now a worldwide product."

The new deal will dwarf Carling's four-year sponsorship arrangement, worth pounds 9m a year to the Premier League from next season. It will also further confirm the money-spinning potential of professional football, and its transformation in the 1990s. Nine years ago, in the aftermath of the Heysel and Bradford disasters, the Football League could only get ITV to pay pounds 9m a year for live game rights. From next season, BSkyB will pay pounds 167.5m a year for similar rights to Premier League games.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue