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Ligue 1's £4bn deal and the peculiar business of football TV

 
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MessagePosté le: Jeu 31 Mai - 07:41 (2018)    Sujet du message: Ligue 1's £4bn deal and the peculiar business of football TV Répondre en citant




From a game of two halves to squeaky bum time – football fails to make sense to some. Trying to fathom the sport’s funky finances? Well that’s no different.


On Tuesday night France’s top division thai sbo announced a dramatic 60 per cent hike in domestic TV rights. Ligue 1 will net a chunky €4.6bn (£4bn) across four seasons from 2020.


Vivendi, the incumbent French media titan, was ousted. In its place, Chinese-backed Mediapro scooped three of the biggest packages on offer, out of seven in total. Qatar-based beIN took another package and France’s fourth-biggest mobile firm Free secured the fifth. The final two sets were unsold.


Media experts were left scratching their heads when considering why Mediapro – which also counts ad giant WPP as a large, minority shareholder – splashed so much cash.


“The economics are very hard to work out,” said Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker. Football industry veteran Trevor Birch remarked: “The bottom line is: nobody really knows.”


But Birch went on to say the French deal proves football “is still killer content”. thai sbo Tell that to the English Premier League. Boss Richard Scudamore is still licking his wounds after Sky and BT snapped a streak of spiralling rights inflation earlier this year.


The Premier League auctioned off five of its seven packages in February, netting £4.5bn for three seasons from 2019. TV rights for the world’s most popular sporting competition sold for £5.1bn for three years from 2015.


By adding French rights to similar packages secured in Italy and Spain, some in the City suggest Mediapro is targeting continental domination. The problem, however, is the firm doesn’t have a distribution network in France. Meanwhile, social media was awash with speculation that Mediapro's move could be a ruse by the owners of France's big-spending clubs to navigate financial fair play rules.


Analysts steered clear of such conspiracy theories, instead pointing out the rights may well end up being sold back to Vivendi anyway.


It’s been 120 days since the Premier League announced its most recent auction. Reports last week indicated it is close to offloading the two unwanted packages for a “minimal amount”.


Whatever Scudamore can secure for his football fag-ends may leave the Premier League up to £500m short compared with its current deal. That’s unless Mediapro turf up. Stranger things thai sbo have happened in football. It’s a funny old game.


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