TV Football
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Without genuine football supporters the professional game is nothing. Empty stadia or reduced attendances mean the sport will die as a spectacle. You only have to see the rows of empty seats in the corporate section of Wembley.

Quite rightly, fans who regularly pay and attend matches have a measure of contempt for the couch potatoes who only watch the game on TV or who attach themselves as glory hunters to a winning team or who simply make snide or cynical comments from the sidelines.

Nevertheless, live and recorded TV broadcasts are here to stay. The only question is what the genuine fans will settle for.

A Premier League rights auction will take place next year for the period 2016 to 2019. A decision is expected in February 2015. Up for sale will be five packages of 28 matches and two packages of 14 matches. Total 168 live matches per season, 14 more than the current deal, or total 44% of all matches. One of the packages is for 10 games per season on Friday nights. The successful bids are likely to total more than £4.5 billion.

The current main Premier League TV deal between 2013 and 2016 is worth £3.018 billion. Add in internet rights and overseas sales and the true total figure has been estimated at over £5 billion. It is dominated by Murdoch's Sky TV, and BT. This puts TV earnings well ahead of Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga and French Ligue 1, each of which draw just over £600 million. A separate deal for match highlights only was concluded with the BBC for £179 million.

The main deal was a 70% increase on the previous 2010-2013 contract of £1.250 billion. The first deal in 1992-1997 was worth £304 million.

Despite the TV revenues increase, twelve clubs ramped up their highest season ticket prices this season. They were: Queens Park Rangers (by 38%), Burnley (37%), Hull City (27%), Crystal Palace (11%), Manchester City (10%), Southampton (4%), Aston Villa-Arsenal-Everton (all 3%), Leicester-Liverpool-Stoke (2%).

The Premier League shares a total of a mere £262.5 million of its total revenues with grassroots football, excluding parachute payments to those relegated from the League.

It has been estimated 70% of Premier League money goes on players wages and agents fees.

Virgin Media, previously an unsuccessful bidder, claims UK fans pay the most for the least broadcast football. Regulator Ofcom launched an inquiry last month into whether the way Premier League TV rights are sold is anti-competitive, after a complaint from Virgin Media.

Back in October a Football Supporters Federation spokesperson said: "This is certainly an issue that fans will be keeping an eye on, as football subscriptions don't come cheaply......Broadcasters' money shapes the game in many ways - the Premier League's last media deal was worth £5.5bn, and TV companies often move fixtures to really awkward times for travelling supporters. Fans are naturally wary of TV companies' motivations......The FSF's prime concern is with costs for match-going football's certainly true that fans in the English league pay the most get into stadiums. Clubs need to understand how important full stands are to the TV "product" and use some of the mega TV deal to push down ticket prices which are often in excess of £50."


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Comments about TV Football
Look to Norway over the last years. The tv right holders and Norwegian FA splitted up the schedule to also include Friday Night Football. A short summary: Not a very good idea!
Lars, Oslo, 6:29 AM 16/12/2014
I think the Friday night games are a bad idea in general, but in the past the way early kick offs and Monday night games have been picked, they have not had the fans in mind. I remember early Saturday morning kick offs against Portsmouth and Monday nights away to Newcastle. It wouldn't be as bad if they were relatively "local" say within 50 miles, but most people had to take either the day off or travel down there the day before, it will be similar with the Friday night games. I think the other issue of ticket price is a problem, it should be regulated by the premierleague and the price for away tickets is terrible, they can charge the maximum they charge a home seat, even when it's not the same type of seat, it's just a rip off. however some of the % given in the article are misleading, the biggest rises are from the promoted teams, who you would expect to charge more for premierleague than championship season tickets. Also a number of teams have had a 0% rise for renewals or for "early" renewals
Phil, Runcorn, 2:57 PM 13/12/2014
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