Manchester United have announced record quarterly revenues for the first quarter of the financial year but executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward expects the rise to continue after admitting his “excitement” at BT Sport’s new deal for exclusive Champions League football rights.
United saw their revenue rise to £98m – an increase of 29.1 per cent – with new sponsorship deals and the Premier League TV rights to thank for the financial boost.
With news coming last weekend that BT Sport had committed nearly £900m to show three-years’ of European football from 2015 onwards, Woodward feels the deal will only benefit clubs further and admits that it has him and the club excited about the future.
“We are excited by the continuing rise in the value of sports content, evidenced, amongst other things, by the recently-announced BT deal for the UK rights to broadcast the Champions League and Europa League matches for three seasons from 2015-16,” Woodward said.
“This deal represents a meaningful increase over the current arrangement, which should translate into higher broadcasting revenues for the participating clubs.”
BT Sport managed to swoop in for the TV rights after both ITV and Sky Sports thought they had the deal agreed to continue their long-running coverage of Europe’s showpiece club tournament, only to see the recently formed sports broadcaster announce the surprising deal.
This comes after the major increase in the cost of Premier League viewing rights which has significantly boosted clubs in the top flight financially, although even that sum of money can’t compete with United’s commercial income.
A broadcasting income rise 40.9 per cent was dwarfed by the club's growth in commercial income which stands at 62.6 per cent, thanks to 12 new sponsorship deals which includes a global contract with Russian airline Aeroflot
"We are pleased to have achieved another record first quarter, driven by the strength of our commercial business and increased broadcasting revenues,” added Woodward, who took over the chief executive role from David Gill in the summer.
"Our unique approach to the commercial business will continue to drive future growth."