Saturday, February 14, 2015

Soaking The Rich

Jonathan Freedland writes about the Premier League's new television deal and how it shows that English football is now a global product that just happens to be in England. This is not really true.

It is certainly true that the new television deal is phenomenal at 5.1 billion pounds over three seasons it makes it the second wealthiest sports competition in the world. Only the NFL generates more cash and soon the 20th richest Premier League club will be able to outspend every club abroad apart from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

However the important detail is that the new deal is for the domestic rights, not the global rights. It is the competition for UK pay television rights that is driving the growth, the foreign markets are an important bonus but they are not what is primarily funding English football.

Whether this shows that nothing else can drive subscription television in Britain or that British football supporters are very rich is an open question.


James Higham said...

Simple denominator is that people will pay.

Macheath said...

There's a third option - British supporters are utterly devoid of common sense; they must be, to keep forking out for tickets, pay-per-view, subscriptions, merchandise and all the rest in the face of well-publicised Epicurean levels of conspicuous consumption.

Ross said...

It does seem strange to me, but I suppose it isn't inherently less sensible than other non essentials we spend money on.

Macheath said...

Chatting about this with the Spouse yesterday raised the question of vicarious enjoyment/participation; are the public happy to see footballers enjoying lavish lifestyles at fans' expense because they accept them as figureheads - the subscriptions becoming a kind of voluntary tax to maintain a select few in luxury for the delectation of the masses?

I suppose I'm just one of nature's sans-culottes, but the sight of a bedizened WAG or a multi-millionaire footballer throwing a tantrum on the pitch invariably puts me in touch with my inner Revolutionary.