With the Premier League’s triennial TV rights negotiations dawning once more, it is no secret that the ensuing battle to showcase the great and the good of English football will boast some intriguing newcomers. Both Facebook and Amazon will purportedly engage with evergreen broadcasters Sky and BT in what is now essentially a wallet weighing competition, with each entity looking to secure the goldmine that is the Premier League.
At this point, the negotiations fittingly resemble the machinations of a set-piece; the free-kick taker (in this instance, Richard Scudamore) is hovering over the ball, assessing his options, whilst each hopeful party ferociously jostles for position in the six yard box. Whoever rises highest to meet Scudamore’s challenge, and dispatches the ball into the net, will profit enormously.
However, what makes this proverbial set-piece all the more compelling is that it is not merely a one-off, winner takes all contest. There are multiple opportunities/balls in play for each conglomerate to snatch a piece of the glory.
To put this extended metaphor in context, Scudamore and his Premier League colleagues have increased their offering of 168 live games in the previous deal, to a whopping 200, in an attempt to inflate their already bulging £5.14bn revenue.
The enticing new bundle is comprised of five packages of 32 matches, and two packages of 20 matches per season, with an imposed limit of 148 matches per broadcaster (per…