Big bucks for Premier League
The Premier League has confirmed its increasing value in global television markets by more than trebling its income from the United States following a $250 million deal (£156m) for English and Spanish lanuage rights with NBC Universal. The Spanish language rights are particularly significant given that the growing Hispanic population is particularly keen on football for heritage reasons.
NBC Universal have won the right to televise 380 matches per season for a three year period from 2013-14. Fox pays just $23 million at present for the same deal. The loss of Premier League rights is a major setback for Fox, which has built much of its programming around coverage of English football. The decision which also hit ESPN which sub-licences Saturday morning games from Fox. (From my memories of living in Seattle, going to watch a live game at a pub can involve getting up at an obscenely early hour).
Mark Lazarus, the chairman of NBC Sports Group stated, 'The Premier League is the pre-eminent football league in the world and is on the cusp of exponential growth in the US.' NBC's channels have a combined reach of 95 per cent of the US viewing public each month.
Football economics guru Stefan Szymanski reckons that the $1.6bn a year the Premier League obtains from domestic rights could soon be matched by the total for overseas sales.