New TV deal benefits EFL
Things appear to be gradually returning to normal in the UK when it comes to sport.
With the country set to leave behind the majority of its social restrictions on June 21st, and many fans expected to be in attendance for the final games of the Premier League campaign and cup finals, next season should prove similar to the time before the pandemic.
Football has suffered massively in this time, with clubs in the lower divisions who rely on ticket sales amid small amounts of revenue having been hit particularly hard.
This is why the new £5bn TV deal reported in the Financial Times is so important for clubs lower down the pyramid.
The FT report that broadcasting rights will be sold to the three main broadcasters at present – Sky, BT and Amazon. The model which has come to the fore during lockdown, seeing all broadcasting partners benefit, rather than bid against one another, seems to be welcomed by clubs.
England’s top tier clubs were keen to accept the government-brokered compromise as the new media contract guarantees TV income over the coming years, at a time when European broadcasters are reining in spending on sports rights.
Lower league sides are set to benefit, with an additional £100 million to be injected into the divisions.
Increase in piracy?
However, ahead of a return to the norm, piracy and illegal online streams could return to the foreground of UK football.
The Associated Press’ Rob Harris pointed out that the new deal will see only a portion of games televised, with some matches returning to the 3pm slot, following the broadcasting embargo.
This could therefore see more fans encouraged to find piracy routes to stream matches that will not be broadcasted in the UK.
While the Premier League has extended its TV rights domestically until 2025 for the same £5bn, what it confirms is the return to 200 of 380 games being live. The question is how much that encourages piracy to watch games in the UK as also fans are now used to having access to all
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) May 13, 2021
For those not in the know, the 3pm broadcasting embargo was put in place so that fans would be encouraged to watch their local sides, rather than big Premier league games at the same time.
However, frustrations stemming from not being able to watch their team play if unable to attend could therefore see people search for other means to take in the action.
Combating such problems is a tough task, and the anger of supporters towards broadcasting companies due to the prices of single match broadcasts over lockdown has not at all helped.
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) October 26, 2020
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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