Many pundits, myself included, feel that the Champions League has reached a point where it’s more entertaining than the World Cup. It can be deemed blasphemy in some places to say such a thing, but the quality of football in the Champions League has been far superior than the previous two World Cups. By the time the World Cup arrives, most of the players are already exhausted after a long club season.
As a result of the success of the Champions League, both on and off the pitch, many consider the TV rights fees for the Champions League to be undervalued with plenty of room for revenue growth for UEFA.
Those TV rights for the Champions League will be available for sale later this year. In the United Kingdom, networks such as Sky, BBC, ITV and Setanta will be fighting for the rights without a doubt.
Currently, according to the TV Sports Markets newsletter, ITV pays approximately $6.4 million per match night for the Champions League rights. This compares to Sky Sports paying $9.6 million per Premier League match in the UK. In the UK during the 2006/2007 season, the average audience for Champions League matches on ITV was 6.3 million compared to 1.18 million for Premier League matches on Sky.
Is the Premier League that much better or is the Champions League TV rights fees undervalued? It’s definitely the latter.