SBD/February 23, 2011/Media

English FA Concerned About Revenue Loss From UEFA Selling TV Rights Collectively

TV rights to England, FA Cup games currently net FA nearly $700M in the U.K.
Officials for England's Football Association (FA) today confirmed that they "would veto any deal that would see television rights for some England games sold collectively by UEFA if it meant their broadcast revenue being slashed," according to Ben Rumsby of the PA. The FA is in talks with UEFA, "who want to centralise the awarding of such rights for European Championship -- and possibly World Cup -- qualifiers." That could result in a "reduced cashflow for the FA, who are insisting upon being compensated for any shortfall." The FA today "played down reports" that could be as much as $162M (all figures U.S.), but the "black hole is significant enough for them to dig their heels in over the matter." The football associations of Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the Netherlands also are "reportedly seeking assurances about compensation for any shortfall they might suffer." Rumsby notes TV rights to England games are "currently bundled in with those for the FA Cup and were worth" about $690M in the U.K. and a further $240M in overseas contracts. If FA officials "surrendered their broadcast rights to competitive England matches, the FA would only be able to market less attractive friendly matches." The value of FA Cup games "might also plummet if meaningful internationals are not included as part of any deal" (PA, 2/23). In London, Paul Kelso notes UEFA President Michel Platini "wants all 53 member federations to sign over their broadcast rights in time for the annual congress in Paris next month." The measures "have proved popular with small and medium-sized federations that will receive guaranteed income levels, and UEFA insists the move will increase revenues and that guaranteed income streams will benefit all federations" (London TELEGRAPH, 2/23).
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