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Premier League Agree A Renewal of the existing TV Broadcasting Deal. What Impact Does It Have On The Rest Of Football?

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jun 1 2021 07:21AM

On the 13th May, The Premier League agreed a proposal (see DCMS Statement) by the Government to renew, or roll-over the existing broadcasting rights deal from 2019/20 – 22/23 for another three years, which will see it end in 2025. The broadcasters include Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and BBC Sport.

The roll-over or renewal means that, the Premier League agree to temporarily exclude the competition law from their broadcasting deal for three years without going to tender (we're now at the end of the second year). This is quite a coup for the PL and means broadcast revenues will remain stable. Many people may have expected them to fall off a cliff.

There is probably an instinctive reaction on Twitter that, whenever the PL gets its way, it's automatically a bad thing. That might be understandable but it isn't always true and in this instance the FSA will cautiously welcome stability in an unstable world - the reality is that if the PL deal collapsed so would grassroots funding and solidarity payments to EFL/non-league so that isn't something we want to see either.

Part of the Government deal is that the PL has agreed to beef up some of its solidarity payments, with an extra £100 million to "to the National League, women’s football, League One and Two clubs, grassroots football and cross-game initiatives". There is a total value of £1.5bn distributed in parachute payments, solidarity payments and youth development etc.

It is more than likely that the commitment to £100 million of extra funding to the lower end of the Pyramid including Leagues One and Two will fall short of what is necessary to financially secure them, and the PL and it’s clubs could put up a lot more despite their own broadcasting revenue losses of £1.5 billion due to Covid.

It does gets a cautious welcome with a few very important caveats:

• DCMS has confirmed that the fan-led review will still look at broadcast revenue distribution. The deal might offer some stability, but the fan-led review must look at everything afresh. This is critical as it in no way, shape or form gets the PL "off the hook". In fact, you could argue it makes our case that football is a unique business and needs to be looked at in that context.

• Match-going fans will look at the continuation of KO times around the calendar and let out a few expletives.

• The business secretary has invited "representations" around the "exceptional and compelling reasons" for allowing the PL to roll over its 3-yr broadcast deal without going to tender. That's something we'll be looking at and all "interested parties".

With regards to the EFL statement, here, we share the same concerns about distribution of monies and the solution.

The EFL Statement is a damning criticism of the PL’s financial redistribution structure and sees the Government’s announcement as a ‘missed opportunity to press the PL further to address its’ ‘financial imbalances that exist between the top division and the rest of football’.

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