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Foreign TV rights key to Premiership success


The sale of foreign television rights is increasingly become a key element of the Premiership business model.   The sale of overseas television rights at £479m a year is almost four times as much as the foreign TV cash earned by its closest rival among Europe's top leagues, La Liga.  The Premier League earns more from foreign rights each year than La Liga earns from all its tv rights.

The overseas income is on top of domestic rights income of about £2 billion over three years, £1.78m of which comes from live domestic rights and the rest from highlights, near-live rights and multi-media rights.

There is considerable rivalry among pay-tv stations in key markets to secure the Premiership rights which pushes up the price every time there is a new contract.   In Scandinavia Medge Consulting paid £111m for three seasons' rights outbidding Canal+ who paid £50m last time.    In Hong Kong i-Cable Communications paid £146m to take the rights from Now TW who paid £115m last time.

One of the most lucrative markets is in the Middle East/North Africa where Abu Dhabi Media Co's £225 offer was nearly three times the £80m paid by Showtime Arabia last time.     Abu Dhabi Media Company is owned by relatives of Manchester City's owner Sheikh Mansour.

The overseas tv rights for La Liga are bundled together with domestic rights and negotiated club by club.  Barcelona and Real Madrid are the only clubs with a substantial global presence.  The rights are estimated to be worth £132m a year.

Overseas rights to Italy's Serie A are worth £74m a year while the latest figure for the German Bundesliga is £35m a year, but this figure is an increase on the £14.7m a season they were worth between 2006 and 2009.    France's Ligue 1 won earns just £26m a year.