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Opinion

After breaking news on Premier League TV money – Will Mike Ashley really sell up now?

3 years ago
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The riches of Premier League TV money…you have seen nothing yet.

A lot of the three year overseas deals are already agreed for the start of the 2019/20 season.

These are all negotiated separately for the various regions/countries of the world and the total revenue is guaranteed to go through the roof, even with many deals still yet to be confirmed.

What about closer to home though, how can they extract even more money from punters in the UK?

Well all the signs were that just like the cash from broadcasters overseas, the revenue from whoever won the UK rights would send Premier League TV money into another dimension.

The UK rights for 2016/17 to 2018/19 paid the 20 Premier League clubs a total of £5.136bn per season, this was a 70% increase on the £3bn per season for the three PL seasons before that.

However, the Premier League clubs’ owners have agreed alterations to what they will offer broadcasters for the UK deals, that look guaranteed to deliver far far more cash than could ever have been imagined.

Can you imagine at the meeting of the 20 Premier League clubs, when the question was asked ‘Here’s an idea that will deliver loads more cash but screw the fans further, those in favour…’, you could just imagine it, all of them not able to get their hands up quick enough.

Sure enough, all 20 Premier League clubs have voted for the following changes.

At the moment 168 Premier League matches each season are televised live in the UK, which means that 212 are not televised live.

As from 2019/20, the Premier League are allowing at least 190 to be televised live, that means at least half the matches will be on live TV.

Or to put it another way, at least half the games will be moved from their original dates/times.

To accommodate these extra televised games, ‘A new package of Saturday night games is likely to be offered to broadcasters, along with more midweek and Bank Holiday matches’.

Wonderful, the fans who actually pay to go to the matches are being screwed over yet again.

Surely this is the tipping point we have got to, whereby after slowly creeping up and up, we now have a situation where at least half of Premier League matches are shown live and moved.

With Newcastle United, we may not be successful at the minute but will always feature as one of the top half dozen or so that are shown on live TV.

These new packages that will be offered, will probably mean around two thirds or so of Newcastle matches will be moved, as the likes of Stoke, Bournemouth, Burnley, Sunderland (!!!), will be shown minimally.

With all this extra revenue on the horizon, and extra exposure for his retail empire via extra televised games, will Mike Ashley honestly sell Newcastle United at this point?

The general belief is that Ashley already wanted more than what Newcastle United is currently worth but if then any prospective bidder has to also factor in extra cash for this potential extra TV revenue ahead, will anybody really pay what he will be surely asking for, if he is indeed willing to sell?

BBC Sport:

‘A minimum of 190 Premier League games will be televised live in Britain from start of the 2019-20 season.

Premier League chairmen voted unanimously for the package, with the rights set to go out to auction before Christmas.

A new package of Saturday night games is likely to be offered to broadcasters, along with more midweek and Bank Holiday matches.

There will be a minimum of 22 additional live games on offer.

The new contracts will replace the record £5.136bn deal struck with Sky and BT Sport in 2015.

That three-season agreement represented a 70% increase on the previous £3bn deal and involved 168 games being shown each season at an average cost to the broadcasters of £10.2m per match.

Sky paid £4.176bn to show 126 matches, including the first Friday evening games and both Sunday packages, and BT paid £960m for 42 games.’

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