US offers for Premier League rights are expected in early November, usual suspects would be interested, package could be split, rights fees could double

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We don’t know where the Premier League will air in America next fall, but we should find out soon.

Speak Sports Business Journal, offers are due for US rights by November 8, three weeks after yesterday. SBJ also reports that the usual suspects (ESPN, NBC, CBS and, perhaps surprisingly, Fox) are interested, and that the Premier League may be doing something it hasn’t done in nearly a decade in the States. – United: split the package.

CBS, ESPN and Fox are expected to join NBC in submitting formal offers for U.S. Premier League media rights next month, according to multiple sources. NBC’s current deal ends in May. The league has asked interested companies to submit offers by November 8. The Premier League has said it will look at deals that split rights between two media companies, a big change from how it previously marketed its US rights, which to date has only been owned by one. network.

A split package would likely bring in even more revenue for the league, but it would also be incredibly frustrating for fans. So naturally, expect this to happen. Athleticism pointed out the possibility of split packages, which seems like a nightmare for viewers.

And there could also be more winners. For the first time in the United States, the league is offering four different packages.

The first is the status quo: every 380 matches, to be distributed among the different platforms of the bidder. The second is new: all 380 games but shared jointly between two partners.

The third and fourth are unique and exclusive packages of 190 games each. A package would bring the games of first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth picks in odd rounds, and the second, fourth, sixth, eighth and 10th picks in even rounds. The other package would reverse the choices.

MLS are also on the lookout for a new TV deal, but according to SBJ the networks are waiting for Premier League rights to be awarded before committing.

The Premier League frenzy has affected MLS, which is also in the market looking for new media deals. Sources said media companies have told MLS executives they want to wait until the Premier League bidding process is complete before they begin serious negotiations over domestic league rights.

Based on this blurb, it looks like the networks are seeing MLS as a consolation prize. I can’t imagine a company opening the bank account for Premier League * and * MLS rights, but stranger things have happened.

As for rights, NBC’s original deal that began with the 2013-14 season was a three-year, $ 250 million pact. His current deal, which started with the 2016-17 season, is a six-year, $ 1 billion deal. SBJ reports fees could double again, and The Athletic stepped in to report that a nine-year, $ 3 billion deal could be reached.

Streaming will, of course, be a big part of this rights deal, and I think that’s why CBS, ESPN, and NBC are a little ahead of Fox in this offering. Despite Fox’s reported capture of UEFA Euro rights, the network’s unauthenticated streaming service tubi lags far behind Paramount +, ESPN + and Peacock in the streaming wars, and it’s unclear whether the company might (or even want to) launch a subscription. -service based next year. In terms of traditional television, NBC has an advantage over CBS and ESPN in that they don’t have a lot of broadcast conflicts during Premier League windows – ESPN has its tons of college football and basketball, as well as commitments to both Bundesligas and La Liga, while CBS also offers live college sports and its Serie A windows on weekends.

Would the Premier League want its games in the United States to be almost exclusively paid for? This might actually be the better option for consumers (rather than the mix of cable and streaming that NBC has used in recent years), although it doesn’t appear to be on paper. The race for Premier League rights looks wide open right now, and hopefully we have an announcement sometime next month.

[Sports Business Journal, The Athletic]


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