After what has been a turbulent month for the English Premier League, it has agreed to extend its current TV-rights deal with several partners through to the end of the 24/25 season. The final hurdle for this deal to cross is approval from the British government, which is all but a formality.
The Premier League has renewed its deal with its current partners Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC Sport. The deal is the same one that has been in place for the last few seasons and is worth an impressive £4.5 billion. It will kick in at the beginning of the 2022/23 campaign and last for three years. The deal just needs approval from the British government. It has already been agreed in principle but they need to wait for the deal to officially be passed.
Premier League club owners will be breathing a sigh of relief, with many worried that the impact of Covid-19 will have damaged the value of the Premier League. Typically, the TV rights are auctioned off but concerns about the price and changes in law as a result of Brexit meant that a private sale was possible.
Richard Masters, the CEO of the Premier League, thanked all of its broadcast partners and spoke enthusiastically about their relationship moving forward. He described all of the companies involved as excellent partners and praised the coverage that they provide.
The deal has not been met with that level of enthusiasm in other parts of the English footballing pyramid though, and some fans are also feeling a little bit out in the cold.
For this deal to be agreed upon, the government demanded certain concessions from the Premier League clubs. One of these was that it would have to pay out an additional £100m on top of the £425 that it had already paid out to the English Football League. The total contribution to the rest of the English footballing pyramid will be around £1.5 billion over the three-year period.
In the eyes of many lower-league fans and clubs though, this is just seen as the Premier League once again being able to buy its way around rules. The Football League has argued that this maintains the unfair status quo of the football situation in England and that, over the years, it will just damage the Football League.
There has also been some backlash from fans, with proposals to move kick-off times to even later on a Sunday evening causing upset. The proposal would make it extremely difficult for away fans to be able to travel to games.
These issues come hot on the heels of the failed European Super League proposal which saw mass outrage across the footballing world. Six Premier League clubs, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Tottenham, alongside several European clubs including Juventus and Real Madrid, attempted to form a European super league in place of the UEFA Champions League.
All six English clubs withdrew within two days after protests from fans, while some of the other clubs still remain adamant it will happen one day. Fans of these clubs still remain frustrated though and with lockdown lifting in the UK, more and more protests are happening.
Arsenal fans are demanding the sale of their club, while Manchester United fans forced the club to cancel a league game against Liverpool when they forced their way onto the pitch before the start of the game.