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d9 vx Manchester United watching closely as Amazon complete £650m broadcasting deal – Man Utd
July 27, 2021

Man Utd

News

Manchester United watching closely as Amazon complete £650m broadcasting deal

3 min read

Manchester United and Premier League rivals have already received a broadcasting boost in the midst of potential financial complications brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

But could there soon be another one on the cards?

It’s been announced, as reported by the ECHO, that domestic broadcasting rights for the next cycle will remain at the same level – meaning a share of £4.5billion which was distributed to clubs between 2019 and 2022 will be replicated for the following three years, until 2025.

That comes as DAZN throw their hat into the ring to screen games alongside Amazon Prime Video, BT Sport and of course Sky Sports.

Initially, there were concerns that revenue would be decreased or could go to auction, but the Premier League and its clubs have, seemingly, emerged from the pandemic in a relatively good place financially, while the return of fans to stadiums will only bolster that position.

That has not necessarily been the case in other nations, though, such is the commercial appeal of English football.

Indeed, over in France, broadcasting rights have been significantly impacted by Covid-19 – throwing those top two divisions in the country into financial chaos. That comes after Mediapro, who had won the race for rights to cover those leagues for around £800million ($1.2billion), missed payments and the game’s governing body there was then forced to cut ties with the firm.

French broadcaster Canal+ picked up the remainder of the deal, albeit for a far smaller sum.

However, given that clubs had budgeted for the original terms, it caused financial complications and LFP – which governs the French divisions – was subsequently forced to take out a Government loan.

A bleak immediate future appeared, but Amazon have stepped in to restore hope and, with that, financial health.

Having opted only to show a select number of matches as part of their deals across other countries, such as the £90million paid to screen 10 games in the Premier League each season, the online broadcaster has now rubber-stamped a €250million (£214.6million) deal to show eight Ligue 1 matches per week, which had formed part of the failed, original Mediapro package.

It comes as a monumental €750million (£643.75million) boost to French clubs over the next three years.

That deal has, however, prompted French football’s long-standing broadcasting partner Canal+ to pull out of their own arrangement with the LFP – a deal that saw them broadcast two Ligue 1 games each week. However, the LFP intend to hold them to that £285million per year commitment.

Amazon had previously only dipped in and out of football coverage, so does this arrangement with French Ligue 1 mark a change in approach that Premier League clubs might eventually benefit from?

TV access and the way people consume content has changed considerably over the last few years.

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Indeed, more and more are switching over to streaming services such as Amazon from traditional broadcasters, as the Premier League, meanwhile, looks ahead to secure rights beyond 2025 – when their next three-year cycle ends.

Considering widespread implications brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, retaining the same funds between 2022 and 2025 – worth close to £100million for United and other clubs – was seen as a win for the Premier League.

However, as normality continues to return in both an economic and social sense, the exclusive Amazon deal which has been confirmed over in France might be viewed as a sign of things to come.

Indeed, upon this recovery, the Premier League will be hoping the marketplace is bullish with willing bidders by the time the next cycle arrives in order to drive forward our top division and retain its position as the most watched and most loved domestic competition in world football.

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