Why the Future of English Football Depends on Sky
For over a decade doom-mongers have been warning that sooner or later the bottom will fall out of the Premier League broadcast rights and English clubs will find themselves up the financial creek without a paddle. Yet, each time the contracts are renegotiated, more money flows into the Premier League coffers, and the next contracts look like being just the same.
The tie between BSkyB and the English Premier League has been one of the great success stories of world sport. The League has made Sky attractive to new customers, which has meant the broadcaster has made significant profits which it has reinvested in the league. The broadcasting money, on the other hand, has helped Premier League clubs attract bigger and brighter stars, further lifting the standard and raising the appeal to customers.
It is the ultimate virtuous circle.
So far, the broadcasting rights have been useful, helping clubs offset some of the enormous wages, but with UEFA's new financial fair play regulations coming into force, the scale of the Premier League's broadcasting package could be vital.
The regulations ban clubs from making a greater than £45m loss over a three year period, with television rights for the league alone worth in the region of £90m per club, that means each English team has £135m to spend over a three-year period, without even considering merchandise, ticket sales, European games, and rights from club television channels like MUTV.
Accordingly, if this money is spent wisely, English clubs are in an unparalleled position when it comes to the resources that they can use under the new regulations. Obviously, continental clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter and AC, who negotiate their own television deals may have even bigger pots of money, which is good for them, but when you consider that in the last five years that four English clubs have made Champions League finals compared to one from Spain, and two from Italy, the more equitable split of broadcasting money in the UK is clearly a reason for the strength in the depth of our clubs.
So, as long as Sky continue to invest in English football, and with excellent profit figures this year there's no reason why they shouldn't, we can expect English teams to really benefit under UEFA's new regulations in all competitions.