REPORT: Premier League Facing Television Revenue Refund

As the discussions regarding ‘Project Restart’ rumble on, much has been made of the part that broadcasters both in the UK and internationally have played and with no resumption of the Premier League announced to date, there is a thorny issue regarding television revenue.

Premier League Facing Television Revenue Refund

Project Restart

With the coronavirus pandemic having a vice-like grip on sport all around the world, it meant that the English top flight had to press pause on proceedings with nine weeks of the season still remaining.

While with any resumption in action, there are undoubtedly going to have to be concessions made and the most obvious of these, will be the requirement to play the rest of the campaign behind closed doors.

As fans are locked out of stadiums up and down the country, it means that a lot more will become supporters of the armchair variety and although viewing figures may increase, the spectacle on offer will be rather lessened.

Which is why the likes of Sky Sports, BT Sport and the global broadcast partners are concerned at not being able to sell ‘the best league of the world’ to its subscribers and with them receiving less of a product, they are keen to offer less in terms of television revenue.

Up to £340 Million Quoted

A figure of as much as £340 million has been quoted and although this shortfall would not necessarily be the death knell for any of the 20 Premier League clubs, it would certainly add further strain on any financial balance sheet.

However, with Premier League chief executive Richard Masters already forecasting an overall loss of £1 billion, this is the last bit of news he will want to hear and this will only further his need to get ‘Project Restart’ rolled out and ready for action.

While it seems like the figure of £340 million could be just the tip of the iceberg and with broadcasters already taking umbrage at their schedules being decimated, they have laid out a further warning to Masters and his fellow board members.

Should the season be curtailed, and the remaining quarter is left uncontested, the broadcasters in question will demand an even greater refund in terms of television revenue and that is where the serious cash flow problems could arise.

With UEFA demanding an answer to all their member nations’ intentions by May 25th, the race is one across Europe and the Premier League know that they are running out of time, as far as getting their house in order is concerned.

The next two weeks or so, are going to be rather fraught and discussions will go late into the night. However, even if a restart does finally commence, it seems the league is going to end up rather lighter in the pocket.



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