New players, more expensive subscriptions, Ligue 1 at a discount … Will the Super League upset TV rights?

The creation of a Super League raises the question of television rights and the consequences on the broadcasting of other competitions.

On the night of Sunday April 18 to Monday April 19, twelve major European clubs announced the creation of their own competition, the Super League. Lecturer at the University of Paris-Saclay and author of a thesis on television rights, Antoine Feuillet makes some hypotheses on the question of the broadcasting of the competition.

While it is still early to discuss the allocation of TV rights without knowing the entire team lineup and its format, the creation of a Super League is likely to attract many media players. Some are already setting their pawns. “Obviously, DAZN – the sports streaming platform, editor’s note – would be ready to buy the rights for 3.5 billion euros. But we can imagine that it goes beyond. We are also talking about certain lots reserved for streaming platforms. The Financial Time mentioned Amazon, Facebook or even Disney “. specifies Antoine Feuillet. However, the platform indicated that “neither DAZN nor (its owner, billionaire) Len Blavatnik are in any way engaged or interested in entering into discussions regarding the launch of a Super League.Several scenarios could therefore be considered.

At first glance, the Super League is a model of competition that is very similar to what is done in the United States. TV rights for the Professional American Football League (NFL), for example, are around $ 10 billion a year. For this, the competition is increasing broadcasting agreements with local American channels, as well as Amazon. The Super League could very well be inspired by it. “This competition is almost modeled on the NBA. We can therefore easily imagine several types of lots where we will have to subscribe to different distribution methods “, anticipates Antoine Feuillet.

It has not escaped anyone’s notice: football has been privatized for several years. “We are on a slope that has harmed consumers for quite a few years. It is not the Super League that would trigger the phenomenon “, shade Antoine Feuillet. Whether you live in France, Italy, England or Spain, watching football has become a real headache for viewers… and a luxury. It is necessary to accumulate subscriptions to different channels and this obviously has a cost for the consumer. And who says new league, says more football, more matches, therefore more money to have to spend. “If we have a product that is considered a Super League, that is to say more valued than the Champions League, that would mean that the rights would be higher and therefore sold more expensive to consumers via different media.. “

The media have limited resources. There would therefore be a choice to be made between several products, including the Champions League, the Super League and the national championships “, points out the specialist. It evokes a “communicating vessel” effect: “If the media players position themselves on the rights of the Super League, the Champions League and national competitions may suffer “. Such a setup would result in an obvious drop in revenue for the Champions League and domestic leagues. Once again, small clubs could be the first to be affected: “It is difficult to anticipate all of this. But if the clubs create this Super League and privatize football, one thing is certain: it will be for the benefit of the big clubs and to the detriment of the small ones “, explains the lecturer.

In France, the Mediapro affair has not yet completely disappeared from people’s minds. In May 2018, the Sino-Spanish group won the broadcast of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 (between 2020 and 2024), in exchange for an amount of nearly 800 million euros. However, he had not been able to honor his installments. For the Super League, DAZN would plan to make an offer to the tune of 3.5 billion euros. But could the digital platform really take such a sum out of its coffers? “It’s hard to say, recognizes Antoine Feuillet. DAZN has suffered the full brunt of the Covid-19 crisis and is not an extremely solid player economically. It doesn’t make more income than Mediapro. It’s not reassuring from that point of view, but we are on a product that is different from Ligue 1. Potentially, it would be easier to make the Super League profitable. “

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