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MANCHESTER UNITED TEAMS WITH BSKYB AND GRANADA ON TV CHANNEL
Published October 1, 1997
Manchester United will establish its own TV channel, according to Patrick Harverson of the FINANCIAL TIMES. United CEO Martin Edwards said the team will set up MUTV in a joint venture with BSkyB and the media group Granada. Under the deal, BSkyB and Granada "will provide the bulk" of the $16M-plus "development costs of the channel, which will be sold to subscribers via digital and satellite services from next autumn. The three partners will share income from the venture equally, while United will also receive a royalty on every subscription sold" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/1). REAX: The TIMES' "Lex" column writes that since the United does not hold rights to live telecasts of its current games, the "channel will have to survive on the thin gruel of classic re-runs, player interviews and reserve games." Early annual revenues are not expected to exceed more than $4.8M. The channel's "true worth will become evident only" when the Premier League's TV contract with BSkyB is renegotiated. That will allow United to gain in a new deal or "strike out on its own" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/1).