Liverpool wants greater share of TV rights money
Liverpool wants the Premier League’s top clubs to be allowed to
emulate Barcelona and Real Madrid by selling their own overseas
The Premier League describes its TV revenue distribution system
as the ”most equitable of Europe’s major leagues,” with each of
the 20 clubs receiving 17.9 million pounds ($28 million) from
overseas broadcasters last season.
But Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre believes it is unfair
that high-profile clubs with a global appeal are part of a
collective deal that is worth 1.4 billion pounds ($2.2 billion)
under a three-year deal.
”At some point we definitely feel there has to be some
rebalance because what we are actually doing is disadvantaging
ourselves against other big European clubs,” Ayre said.
The domestic TV deal with Sky Sports and ESPN is weighted more
in favor of the larger clubs, with part of the payment based on how
many times their games are shown live in Britain.
Liverpool, which won the last of its 18 English titles in 1990,
received 55 million pounds ($86 million) in total from broadcasters
last season despite finishing sixth, 2 million pounds ($2 million)
more than fifth-place Tottenham.
Spanish and European champion Barcelona receives around $250
million annually from broadcasters.
Ahead of Liverpool’s match against Manchester United on
Saturday, Ayre said ”in Kuala Lumpur there isn’t anyone
subscribing to ESPN to watch Bolton.”
”The large majority are subscribing because they want to watch
Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal,” Ayre added.
”So is it right that the international rights are shared equally
between all the clubs?”
But most Premier League clubs support the status quo because
their revenue would drop if there was a change, which would require
approval of 14 of the 20 sides.
”Do we just share ours because we’ll all be nice to each
other?” Ayre asked. ”The whole phenomenon of the Premier League
could be threatened if the Spanish clubs just get bigger and bigger
and they generate more and more. Then all the players will start
drifting that way.
”Will the Premier League bubble be burst because we are
sticking to this equal-sharing model? It’s a real debate that has
The league released new figures Wednesday from business research
consultancy SPORT+MARKT claiming that match coverage last season
reached 643 million homes worldwide and 777 million viewers away
from their homes.
The research projected a global following for the league of 1.46
billion, or an estimated 70 percent of football fans.
”This remarkable increase lies largely in the redistribution of
international rights for the start of the new three-year broadcast
term last year,” said Andrew Walsh, SPORT+MARKT’s head of
international affairs. ”One of the main drivers of that
development was the switch of the league’s broadcast rights from a
Pay TV broadcaster to terrestrial coverage in China which really
has burst open the floodgates in terms of the Premier League’s
popularity in the world’s most populous and fastest-growing
The research was carried out in 36 countries, surveying 1,000
people in each of those markets.