Premier League Sees Worldwide Growth Through TV Deals, Internet Accessibility
Overseas TV rights are becoming "an increasingly important part of the growing wealth" of the Premier League, and in particular its top clubs, according to Jonathan Dyson of the London INDEPENDENT. Although negotiations over these rights for the next three-year cycle, starting in the '13-14 season, are "yet to be concluded," it is already clear that their value for '13-16 is "set to increase significantly" on the £1.4B earned for '10-13. Some estimates predict at least a 30% growth, which would make overseas rights worth more than £2B ($3.1B), and "raise the total value of the broadcasting deals, including domestic rights," to around £5.5B ($8.5B). As the Premier League's following continues to grow rapidly across the world, it appears "increasingly likely that within the next few years the value of the overseas broadcast rights will overtake those for the domestic market, so confirming the Premier League's increasing emphasis on growth overseas." While a growing number of domestic Premier League fans are "becoming detached from their clubs, particularly due to high ticket prices, overseas supporters are feeling more intimately engaged, not only with their clubs but with fellow fans in other countries and the Premier League soap opera as a whole." Key to this has been the "increasing number of countries over recent years where either most, or all 380, Premier League games are broadcast each season." Malaysia official Chelsea supporters club Chair Mohan Thambirajah said, "Being able to see most if not all of your team's games certainly increases the interest, and makes you feel more connected." Indonesia official Liverpool supporters' club manager Debbie Winardi added that as more games are shown, "overseas supporters increase." Winardi said, "A contributor to the phenomenon of the Premier League in Indonesia has been the growth of Premier League communities. Indonesians like to gather and be involved in communities, and this makes them more passionate about their clubs." But the biggest driver of the increasing engagement of overseas fans is "unquestionably digital and social media." And ManU is "leading the way." The club has partnerships with mobile telecom providers in 42 countries and TV providers in 54, while its website is available in seven languages. The club said that its website has "attracted on average over 60 million page views a month over the past year" (INDEPENDENT, 2/17).