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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Television and Broadcasting

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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.

Sky moves ahead in ratings war

The coverage of the Manchester derby, the first blockbuster game of the season,  by Sky Sports attracted more than 2 million viewers at peak.  This was twice the audience BT Sport achieved for Liverpool's game with Leicester.

BT had made a much stronger start to the season, winning the Saturday ratings head-to-head for three weeks on the trot.  Overall, ratings at BT Sport have increased by 8 per cent, while it has been suggested that Sky's ratings have drifted slightly.

Power grab by top European clubs

Uefa will guarantee more places for clubs from Europe's top football leagues in the Champions League, in a power shift towards the wealthiest teams.  The move, which follows threats from rich clubs to create a breakaway competition, will ensure more places for teams from Europe's largest television markets, but to the detriment of smaller nations.

Football tv revenues will continue to rise

Tonight sees the first of a regular series of televised Friday night Premier League games between Manchester United and Southampton.   The innovation has not pleased Saints fans, many of whom have had to take time or a day off work to get there.   Those going by coach won't get home until 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. It demonstrates the power of television companies over the game.

Competition between Sky and BT is likely to continue, pushing prices in an upwards direction.    Down the road, Google, Netflix and Apple might decide to get involved.

Bundesliga gets tv boost

The four year television rights auction for the Bundesliga generated €4.64bn (£3.63bn), an 85 per cent increase on the previous deal, making it the second wealthiest league in Europe.   It has lagged behind rivals in England, Italy and Spain in commercial terms.   It is still some way behind the Premier League which pocketed £5.1bn in a three year rights auction last year.

Arsenal top money league

Arsenal became the first team to collect more than £100m in Premier League prize money in the season just ended.   Next year the club that comes 20th is likely to earn that.

Following their £101m came Manchester City with £96.7m, Manchester United with £96.5m and Tottenham Hotspur with £95.2m.  

Title winners Leicester City came in fifth, receiving £93.2m.   Their matches were selected for broadcast only 15 times, compared with 26 at Manchester United and 25 at Manchester City.

Mexican league a big hit on US TV

Mexico's LIga MX attracts a bigger audience for its televised games on a Spanish language channel than NBC's coverage of the Premier League.   The article looks more generally at the growing popularity of soccer on US television with quotes from football economics guru Stefan Szymanski.