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Next U.S. TV Contract for Premiership: "$20 Million"

Oliver Tse, the creator of, wrote a revealing response to the Paul Gardner article I commented on the other day.

In Tse’s article, he mentions many of the same thoughts I had (in that it’s unfair to evaluate the Premiership based on just the matches that Fox Soccer Channel broadcasts). But what Tse does reveal is this:

“The next US TV contract for the EPL will cost $20 million each year, which is about 100 times compared to what the rights fee were for the 1994-1995 season.”

If that number is close to being real, it gives you — the reader — a good idea why Fox Soccer Channel decided to sublicense some of the Premiership matches to Setanta Sports this past summer. With rights fees like that, it only makes sense for Fox and Setanta to partner.

While the Premiership is undoubtedly the most expensive league to own the TV rights for, it’s no wonder that Fox let the Bundesliga and Lique Une go to GolTV and Setanta respectively.

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  1. The Gaffer

    December 7, 2006 at 11:09 pm


    I stand corrected. But, bloody hell! I would have never thought that Mexican football was so expensive in terms of TV rights.

    Judging by the TV number you shared though, it seems justified.

    The Gaffer

  2. deeplennon

    December 7, 2006 at 4:39 pm

    Nice comment.

    Not surprising, but interesting.

  3. Oliver Tse

    December 7, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    The EPL is NOT the most expensive soccer television product in the U.S. from a rights fee stand point.

    Not even close.

    The U.S. TV rights fee to Mexican First Division matches in the next TV contract cycle should approach $100 million a year.

    The Mexican First Division is definitely worth more as a TV product in the U.S. than the National Hockey League (NHL).

    In particular, the only NHL games during the 2005-2006 season that can draw more viewers than the Chivas Guadalajara-Club America “superclasico” are Games 3-7 of the 2006 NHL Stanley Cup Final series.

    The latest “superclasico”, which aired on Univision on December 10 at 9pm ET/6pm PT, drew over 2 million U.S. TV households and nearly 4 million U.S. TV viewers age 2 and over.

    One would have to go all the way back to the defunct North American Soccer League (NASL) telecasts on ABC Sports during the 1979 season, before ESPN was even launched, to find 2 million U.S. TV households tuning to a professional club soccer match.

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