The Premier League is regarded as the richest football league in Europe and recent developments in terms of television rights and transfer activities perfectly epitomises the statement of them being the ‘financial powerhouse’ of the modern era.
The record £5.14bn TV rights deal in 2015 saw champions Chelsea pocket a healthy amount of £150.8m for 2016-17, 50% more than the previous winners, while even relegated side Sunderland netted an astonishing £93.4m despite being demoted to the Championships.
The income top-flight teams earned from TV rights almost doubled in just one cycle and is poised to continue to rise over the next few years.
Manchester United chief Ed Woodward has made a sensational prediction for the coming term, stating that he expects bigwigs like Facebook and Amazon to enter the scene when the next Premier League TV rights deal is negotiated later this year, as per BBC Sport.
Asked if he believes the move will come to fruition, the Red Devils’ executive vice-chairman replied: “Absolutely I think they will enter the mix and we would welcome the interest.”
The Brit was speaking at an investors’ conference call to discuss United’s latest annual results, revealing another successful season with the club registering a record revenue of £515.3m - a profit of £68.9m in 2016.
Woodward was also asked about the plans the governing bodies of Premier League and UEFA are considering in order to maximise income through live streaming of games.
He said: “Anecdotally there was strong interest in the last cycle.
“We are hearing it round the Premier League table now and from a European perspective as well in terms of the Champions League rights and Europa (League).”
The 45-year-old further added that he is aware of “big numbers” being offered for Indian Premier League and MLS’s 22-match deal with Facebook for the 2017 regular season which are good indicators to judge how the top division of English football would fare.
“We are going to see an increasing engagement from these organisations and it is going to be increasingly important to digitally engage with fans,” he continued.
“We think we can be complimentary to partners like this.”
The Premier League are set to send out tender documents for the next cycle, which runs from 2019-22. Current domestic and overseas broadcast deals are estimated to be worth a combined total of £8.3bn.
Facebook failed with a £445m bid for digital rights for IPL while Amazon paid £37m to live stream ten Thursday night NFL games this campaign.
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