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Television and Broadcasting

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Evening games on Saturdays?

Premier League clubs are considering playing games on Saturday nights with a 7.45 pm kick off.  Up to 30 more fixtures will be shown live in the next broadcasting deal which runs the risk of market saturation unless new formats can be found.

However, fans are unlikely to welcome the idea as it would make it more difficult for them to attend away matches without an overnight stay.

Premier League viewing figures fall

Premier League football has suffered the biggest drop in viewing on Sky's TV platorm for at least seven years.  Average viewing on Sky's live TV platform fell 14 per cent and total viewing hours 6 per cent over the season.

Sky is paying £10m a game, two thirds more than previously, to screen matches in a three year deal.  It is spending £4.2bn for 126 games a year.  BT is paying £960m for its right to show 42 games a season.  It recorded a more modest fall in average viewing of 2 per cent, but that is from a lower base.

Top six want bigger share of spoils

Overseas broadcasting fees have become increasingly important in the Premier League's revenue stream.  An estimated £3bn of the £8.3bn broadcasting pot now comes from this source.

Title earns Chelsea £151m

Champions Chelsea have earned nearly £151m in television fees and prize money.  Chelsea received almost £58m more than Leicester City did for winning the title last season.

Chelsea's prize money for coming top was £38.8m, while 'facility fees' for being shown live on television in 28 of their 38 league games brought in another £32.8m.   An equal share of TV deals, domestically and overseas, plus commercial income contributed about £79.2m.

Is piracy problem hitting viewing figures?

The number of viewers watching Premier League matches on Sky during the first half of the season is 12 per cent down on the previous year.   Sky's latest six month results showed that profits had been affected by a £314m increase it had to pay to the Premier League in that period.

Catch 22 for MLS

MLS captured only seven per cent of the US television market for soccer from August to December.  A third of viewers watched the Mexican Liga, reflecting the importance of the Hispanic audience.   22 per cent watched the Engish Premier League.

Germany and China sign football pact

It is a diplomatic first, but Germany and China have signed a football pact.   At a meeting in Berlin last week representatives of the German and Chinese governments, as well as of sporting organisations in both countries, signed a series of football-related agreements.

Television rights market starts to cool

The football television rights market may have reached its peak, at least domestically, although overseas deals could continue to contribute increasing revenues, making up a growing share of the total.

An underlying driver is that fans are starting to watch football in a different way.   The market is starting to fragment with less commitment to watching the whole game.   Younger fans in particular are watching on their mobiles in shorter bursts.

Big new China TV deal

Foreign broadcasting deals have become an increasingly important part of the Premier League's revenue stream.   Their biggest deal yet is a new one for China that will earn £564m over three years from 2019-20.

Challenges for televised football

In the first ten weeks of this season viewing figures for live Premier League games on Sky fell by 12 per cent year on year.    Sky blames the decline in viewing on fewer big name clashes at the start of the season.   However, it says that it registered a 3.5 million peak audience during Liverpool's clash with Manchester United on October 17th, its highest rated Premier League game for three years.