Sky, BT, fewer watching TV and disenfranchisement


The most significant factor in how competitive or otherwise Celtic, or any other aspiring club in Europe is, is the value of TV rights for the Premier League in England and Wales. Next week, bids will be submitted for domestic rights packages from summer 2019 until 2022.

Things really got out of hand when the current deal was agreed three years ago. Sky increased their bid by 83%, they now pay £11m for every one of the 126 games broadcast each season. BT applied a more modest 18% increase, taking their cost per game to £7.6m. The League also banks international rights, as well as highlights and online packages.

What has changed in the last three years which will impact on the rights values?

On a corporate level, both Sky and BT have plenty to concern themselves with. BT’s consumer broadband and TV business is no longer growing in value, and it is shrinking in headcount. Annual revenue for this division is £1.26bn. The fee they pay to the Premier League each year is £320m.

Even more interesting is Rupert Murdoch’s decision to sell Sky TV along with his other entertainment divisions. Murdoch has had enough, Disney wait in the wings, pending regulatory permission for the deal to proceed.

I don’t think Murdoch is standing alone at the back of his yacht at night, contemplating the wisdom of a former newspaper rival. He is not in trouble, instead he wants out of the business.

Perhaps the most significant ingredient in the mix is the recent agreement for Sky and TV to sell both their Premier League sports channels to customers as a single package. Currently, Sky customers have to pay BT a premium to access BT Sports, and vice versa. If each broadcaster can access the others football package, the competitive frontier moves away from football, to areas like broadband provision.

With the January transfer window just closed, Premier League clubs are clearly not anticipating financial trouble from their paymasters, but the product as lost some of its early shine. TV audiences are on the wane, not just for English football, and not just for football either. This is a phenomenon for live sports in the US too. People just don’t watch as much television as they did five years ago.

So what does all this mean for us? During the Martin O’Neill era, Celtic were regularly in the Deloitte money list of the world’s highest earning 20 football clubs, and only five clubs in England paid more in wages. Since then, we have been disenfranchised from acquiring or retaining top talent.

English football could not afford to survive on the TV deal it had as recently as May 2016 (a 71% difference from the current deal). It would plunge into carnage and, perhaps, structural change. This could be a decade away, or it could happen next week.  But it will happen.

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  1. glendalystonsils on

    KINGLUBO on 6TH FEBRUARY 2018 3:10 PM


    Norman Beaker



    Thanks for introducing me ti this guy.



    That is definitely my thaaaaaaaang.

  2. Chris Farlowe



    Don’t forgat the guy suffered from Spina bifida ( sorry about the spelling!) Amazing, and he’s about 75 now.



    H ehas so much blues in him, he had to be black.


    Great story, when BBKIng first heard his version of Stormy Monday, it was pointed out by some one that Chris Farlowe was on vocal. Naw said BB, Chris Farlowe is white and that guy has to be black

  3. JUNGLE VIP 1.23 p.m



    Very well said even I can see through your post that there is an obvious bias in football broadcasts from the BBC.



    I wonder though is that the way the SFA and SPFL want it. So that people outside Scotland don’t pay too much attention to our game and the corruption within.



    Again JUNGLE VIP that was a fine post.




    A pleasure. Spread the word!! Honest, I’m not his agent!!





    South of Tunis, kinda know what you mean

  5. I think Ugly Delicious on Netflix will be worth viewing.


    Coals will be involved


    dinner time

  6. Cosy Corner Bhoy on

    A Cry for Help!!


    Both daughters going to Lisbon with 5 friends so need places to go!


    Obviously I was there last year but other than the usual places,Stadium and Fatima I am of no help since I just followed BMCUWP and TAL about including into a kebab shop.



  7. hi bhoys sobered up now from yesterday so a little quiz question, cyber pint to anyone who gets it, in the pub yesterday having my birthday meal, where i was sitting i could see the top of an old church ,now in the grounds of that church lies buried a guy called lewis carroll what i want to know is where is the location of that church and yes you can google it.hh

  8. Guildford – thought you lived in Cheshire – you’ve got some eyesight



    You could be Celtic’s scout covering England – without moving

  9. PHILBHOY. GENE. philbhoy close but not croy .lol. gene its in cheshire ithink ive stumped you with this one





    Duddidge or Carroll was born near Warrington. Not far from where you live. So that would be my guess.

  11. CCB – I’d recommend a day trip to the small coastal town of Cascais, the train from Lisbon stops there; same train as the one to the Estadio but a few more stops down the track. There is a beach if they fancy sunbathing and there are lots of wee shops to browse around in and also of course great places to eat and drink. I’m going back again in May this year with wee Stevie and my brother Martin.





  12. sorry bhoys it was his parents that were buried in that churchyard, which is in daresbury in cheshie where i live, he did die in guildford so gene got it right and i got it wrong, and heres me thinking im still sober, cyber pint to gene hail hail.





    I was close. Canny quite remember his surname,canny quite remember where he was born. Canny quite remember much,tbh…

  14. Cosy Corner Bhoy


    I’ll mail BMCUW tomorrow, have Lisbon covered.


    Or contct BRTH




    sorry no holds no interest.




  15. MURDOCHAULDANDHAY yes so embarrassing me living in the village where he was born, incidentally the pub is called the ring of bells.hh.



    Train inland to Sinatra is a good way to spend a few hours. 45 mins from Lisbon about €5 return.

  17. ill make sure i research the questions in future, also was told by the landlord that the pub used to be the court of sessions in the 1800s and hanging was commonplace, spooky but still enjoyed my meal.hh

  18. Big Packy et al.


    I was participating in a Pub Quiz in Eastbourne quite a few years ago. The question was : Who lived at 6 (?)


    Selwyn Court (?). The answer was Lewis Carroll but the girl I was doing the quiz with called out. ” I do now !”


    She really did live in the house once inhabited by as the bold Lewis .





    PS Just looked at a wee bit of the Thistle V Huns game. Looked a wee bit scrappy but very even.

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