Premier League ‘optimistic’ next TV rights deal will net more than £4.35billion

The league is already active in selling rights for the next cycle starting in 2022, with a six-year deal for rights in the Nordic region announced earlier this week which was worth a reported £2billion

Jack Rathborn
Sunday 09 February 2020 10:51
Comments
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters on VAR

There is “every reason to be optimistic” that the Premier League’s next television rights deal will be even more lucrative than the last, according to its new chief executive.

The league is already active in selling rights for the next cycle starting in 2022, with a six-year deal for rights in the Nordic region announced earlier this week which was worth a reported £2billion.

The value of overseas rights in the 2019-2022 period rose to £4.35bn, helping to secure an overall increase in the amount earned despite a drop-off in the value of domestic rights.

Richard Masters became the permanent successor to Richard Scudamore in December last year, and remains bullish about the league’s pulling power.

“We have every reason to be optimistic about the future of sports rights. I don’t think the bubble has burst, because our business is effectively hedged between domestic performance and international performance,” he said.

“The domestic rights did go down by a small margin last time around, but off the back of two big leaps. International revenue has continued to grow. The Premier League is in growth. I have no reason to believe that it won’t continue to be so.”

One huge growth area last time was the Chinese market. The Premier League was criticised for not speaking out in support of Mesut Ozil, the Arsenal playmaker who highlighted the plight of Uighur Muslims in China in December.

The state broadcaster in China pulled the Gunners’ match against Manchester City following Ozil’s post, but Masters insisted the league was justified in staying silent on the matter.

“I think when it happened he is entitled to his own views and it was an issue for Arsenal really,” he said. “They put out their statement and we didn’t feel as the Premier League we needed to get involved.”

Masters said the league looked at the possibility of selling Premier League content ‘direct to consumer’ in some markets last time, but opted against it. Masters said that remains on the table for the next cycle, and said at some stage in the future it is inevitable.

“We were ready last time and we will be ready next time should the opportunity arise,” he said.

“And eventually – and I’m not saying it will happen in the next cycle or when it will happen – but eventually the Premier League will move to a mix of direct consumer and media rights sales. It is impossible to say when that will be.

“There is risk associated with it,” Masters admitted.

“The Premier League has been successful and sports competitions have been successful by seeking partnerships with established broadcasters and having secure funding as its model.

“Secure funding, secure licensed revenue, as opposed to direct consumer revenue – which is an entirely different strategy – the transition from one to the other if and when it ever happens would be a big moment.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in