Premier League clubs have been handed a boost by the news that leading broadcaster, Sky, will delay their demand for a rebate for 12 months.
English football’s leading clubs are facing a significant rebate to the division’s chief broadcasters in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the league’s suspension and impending return behind-closed-doors in breach of several contractual obligations.
Sky, BT Sport and league’s international broadcasters are claiming a collective rebate of £330m from top-flight clubs, a situation which is set to severely hinder the finances of Premier League clubs.
According to The Athletic, however, the Premier League has found a breakthrough in negotiations with Sky to delay the rebate fees for a season, in news which will prove a significant boost to clubs struggling with the financial impact of the global crisis.
Sky has been the leading broadcaster of the Premier League since its inception in the early nineties and the relationship between the two organisations has allowed an agreement to be reached, despite the former having been ‘badly affected’ by the loss of live sport from its programme.
The rebate to Sky is believed to be in the region of £170m and allows for ‘breathing space’ for clubs already facing a loss of match-day revenue, whilst talks are also planned with BT Sport amid the hopes of coming to an agreement of a ‘similar profile’.
International broadcasters – demanding a rebate of around £107m – will, however, need to be paid in full by the end of July 2020.
The current rebate fees are based on the Premier League season concluding by July 26, meaning the figure could rise if these provisions are not met. Should the season be unable to be completed entirely, broadcasters will demand a full rebate figure of £762.2m which could have catastrophic implications throughout the division.
There are also concerns amongst the top clubs, with 25 per cent of broadcast money being dictated by finishing position and a further 25 per cent being allocated depending on the number of games shown on television, with the sides at the top facing significantly higher rebates.
Current league leaders Liverpool would pay back around £21.5m, whilst bottom-of-the-table Norwich would return a figure of £6.8m, the average rebate across the league standing at £14.1m.