The Premier League, the world's leading soccer league in terms of television revenue, continues to outpace other significant leagues. This article delves into the financial disparity between the English division and Major League Soccer (MLS), focusing on their respective broadcasting revenues.
The English division has long dominated global soccer when it comes to generating television revenue. A previous report revealed that even relegated English teams in 2022 earned higher broadcasting funds than champions of other European leagues. The only exceptions are Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, who earn more media money than the worst clubs in the Premier League.
For instance, Manchester City topped England's earnings list for the 2022/23 season with over $222 million from broadcasting alone during their triumphant campaign. Under Pep Guardiola’s leadership, they clinched not only the English top-flight title but also bagged Champions League title and FA Cup trophy.
EPL teams are far ahead in TV revenue statistics
While Manchester City’s 2022/23 television revenue is impressive on its own, it becomes even more astounding when compared to Major League Soccer’s broadcast earnings. MLS currently has a global rights contract with Apple TV that brings in $250 million per year.
This figure was agreed upon back in summer 2022 when both parties signed a decade-long deal making Apple TV MLS's exclusive home until 2032. As part of this agreement, MLS teams share $250 million each season.
Interestingly enough, not only does Manchester City nearly generate as much TV money as all of MLS combined but lower-level English clubs also fare well against North America's top flight league. Leeds United and Southampton FC were both relegated last May after finishing at bottom two spots of Premier League yet managed to earn more media money than all 29 MLS sides combined.
Relegated Southampton and Leeds raked more than MLS
Despite being ranked as the worst English top-flight team that year, Southampton raked in just over $130 million in TV revenue. Leeds United picked up just over $141 million during the same timeframe. This means that these two clubs generated about $272 million combined during their disastrous 2022/23 seasons, which is $22 million more than MLS as a whole.
Sky Sports’ financial backing of the Premier League has created a vast financial disparity with all other leagues, not least Major League Soccer. The broadcasting revenues of even bottom-tier Premier League teams far exceed those of entire leagues elsewhere.
While Major League Soccer continues to grow and attract global attention through partnerships like its deal with Apple TV, it still has a long way to go before it can compete financially with the likes of the English Premier League. This disparity underscores not only the popularity and reach of English football but also highlights potential areas for growth and development within MLS.