CEO Blog 8

CEO Blog 17-18

Issue 8

This week features the price of TV rights, our search for a Charity partner & a Christmas wish list for football.

BBC Screenshot

TV deals set to break all records

The value of the current TV to show Premier League football sits at a mouth-watering £5.136bn, making the original deal (£191m 1991-97) look like small change. Back then, there was just one player, Sky, who built its offer around acquiring the rights for football, cricket, golf, rugby union and anything else they could get their hands on. It just seemed to happen without any challenge or concern about where this would end.

So why has there been such a hike in the value of TV rights in recent years? In simple terms it is due to competition, and it is widely expected that the next deal (2019-2022) will see new players come to the table:

There are a number of issues here for me:

  1. The perception that football is rich and needs less investment at grassroots level as a result is fundamentally WRONG.
  2. This wealth seems to be passed mainly to Premier League clubs and then onto players as described by Alan Sugar’s famous ‘prune juice’ model.
  3. TV coverage of games will 7 days a week. Will this over familiarity breed contempt?
  4. There will be games on demand, available across multi channels (especially if Amazon/ Facebook join in) and this has to affect attendances at games, maybe not in the Premier League, but definitely at lower league level.
  5. The gap between the Premier League elite and the rest will become unbridgeable at some point soon (if it hasn’t already).
  6. TV riches are affecting the essence of sport. What I mean is that before the event no one should know what the result will be. It was refreshing to see Bristol City beat Man U in the League Cup Semi, but these types of results are now few and far between. Is Man City’s current run a co-incidence?
  7. What about Saturday evenings? Do I watch Strictly or the football?

We’ll soon find out with the tender process due to conclude next year, but my sense is that with live streaming and social media giants now getting involved, the market for TV rights is yet to reach its peak. 

Charity Partner for Cambs FA

It’s fitting at this time of year to announce our intention to appoint a Charity partner for 2018:

Having a charity partner will mean that we can focus further our existing work in key areas such as health, inclusion, volunteering and improving lives and building stronger communities. It will add much needed exposure to the positive effects of football, and also the scale and reach of the game across all of the initiatives that are offered in our county. 

I’m really looking forward to meeting new partners and exploring how we can help to deliver their valuable work. 

Happy Christmas

What do you want for Christmas?

We had a chat in the office about what we’d like for Christmas for football. Here’s our wish list for Santa to bring to our game:

  • An end to diving
  • Players to stop waving an imaginary card to encourage the ref to book their opponent
  • More free flowing football/ an end to ‘parking the bus’
  • Certain pundits to retire? E.g. Lawro, Robbie Savage!
  • Negative press for football
  • Re-distribution of wealth within football so more cash for grassroots
  • Football themed Christmas jumpers
  • Half and half scarves

I wonder how many of these we’ll get this year?

Until next time. See you in 2018!