As if to prove the increasing popularity of ‘soccer’ in North America, the Premier League has revealed that they have signed a £2 billion TV rights deal with the US broadcaster NBC.
It nearly doubles the amount that the channel paid for their previous package of games, and confirms the growing competitiveness on the continent for streaming of the Premier League action.
Amazingly, the investment is not far short of the £5 billion that Sky, BT Sport and Amazon paid collectively for their rights deal, which will come to an end in 2025.
The agreement will see NBC Sports remain the Premier League’s official broadcast partner in the US until 2028
— Premier League Communications (@PLComms) November 18, 2021
NBC has been the home of Premier League broadcasting in the US since 2013, and as part of their package they get to show all 380 games per season if they want, with none of the red tape that forces UK broadcasters into a Saturday 3pm blackout – generally, they handpick the most appetising of the fixtures each week.
The average game picks up around 609,000 viewers, which compares to the 1.9 million that Sky Sports get per fixture on average, although the NBC viewing figures are up 14% on last season’s numbers.
That increased competitiveness saw a rival joint bid come in from CBS and ESPN, but Premier League chiefs decided to remain loyal to their partner of nearly a decade, who will now own exclusivity to the rights in the US until 2028.
Richard Masters, the chief executive of the Premier League, said:
“Interest in the Premier League is going from strength to strength, and it is great to see the growing global demand to watch our matches and engage with the league.
“Our international and domestic broadcast revenues over the next cycle will give stability and certainty to the game as a whole, which is particularly important as football recovers from Covid-19 losses.”
How Much TV Revenue Does the Premier League Make?
The American deal is just one of a number of contracts that the Premier League will sign with broadcasters, with the broadcasts rights in Asian and Oceania still to be confirmed.
These partnerships generate a huge amount of income for the brand, which is estimated at around £3 billion per season. Part of this money is filtered down to clubs through the English football pyramid.
Money from the UK TV deal is divvied out with a 50% pot shared between all top-flight clubs, and then a further 25% earned based on performance in the league. The other 25% is written off in ‘facility fees’.
The Football League benefits too, with an estimated £140 million fed through the system each season in so-called ‘solidarity payments’. And when the new deal with Sky and co was agreed back in May, an extra £100 million windfall was also handed to the EFL.