Auction of the English top flight's US broadcasting rights is set to generate over $2billion
The English Premier League is likely going to see a huge windfall of cash thanks to the auction of its TV rights in the US. The league as well as its clubs are set to profit hugely from any deal done with the predicted sale value standing at $2bn, double what they received for the last deal in 2015. At that time NBC paid around €1bn for the rights. This increase in income will be a welcome respite for clubs who have been stricken by a huge decrease in broadcasting and matchday revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
At a projected $2bn, this deal would eclipse all overseas broadcasting contracts previously signed by the Premier League, signalling an uptick in interest across the Atlantic. Executives are said to be shocked that the figure is that high after speculation that the popularity of the league, and football in general, in the US was in decline. This news shows that not only is enthusiasm not declining but football, or soccer as its often called in the US, is in a very healthy position right now.
The traditional auction for domestic TV rights was suspended by the Premier League early this year as it chose rather to renew its existing deals with broadcasters. No such thing will be happening stateside as giants CBS (owned by Viacom), ESPN (owned by Disney) and current rights holders NBC (owned by Comcast) will all compete for the right to show Premier League action for the next five seasons. Those three institutions are the final three in the race. Any deal struck will run from the start of the 2022/23 season next year until the 2027/28 season.
Premier League fixtures shown on NBC averaged 879,000 viewers per match last season which was actually a 2% increase on the year previous. Further evidence that passion for football is growing stateside can be seen by the figures for Man City's 4-1 away win at Liverpool in February, which attracted a high of over 1m viewers. Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek said at a conference in September that "The number one most-viewed item [on television] every year is sports,”
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