Overseas TV Rights - Our View

We are surprised at the latest comments from Ian Ayre about how clubs share the revenue from the current Overseas TV Rights deal. It leads us to question whether Liverpool FC, and other clubs, intend to actively pursue negotiating their own TV rights or are asking for a greater share of the current deal. Whilst we recognise the football club is looking to increase its commercial revenues, pursuing such avenues can lead to further problems.

Supporters, who are becoming increasingly frustrated at the constant changing of dates and times for football matches at the request of TV stations, will be fearful as to what any new deals could mean for them. TV stations, paying more money, are likely to want an even greater say in the kick off times. As the true lifeblood of a football club, it is important that loyal supporters attending matches are not forgotten in a clamour to make more money. We already see a high number of matches moved around without any consideration for supporters. This is an issue that we will be looking into on behalf of our members.

There is also a worry that such a move towards negotiating your own TV rights deals would be another step towards game 39, as clubs look to exploit their global brand.

The competitiveness of the league would also suffer from any changes, as all clubs currently receive equal shares of any overseas deal. Giving more money to the ‘glamour’ clubs will only reduce this, creating a league within a league. We are seeing in Spain that clubs and supporters are becoming increasingly unhappy with ‘big’ clubs receiving larger revenues due to negotiating their own TV rights. In Italy we have seen clubs move away from individual rights to a collective deal. Liverpool supporters, and those of other clubs, all want success. However we are left wondering how such deals will affect us supporters and questioning if it is something that we really want to see happen given the potential consequences. Revenues are becoming the item at the top of agenda for the football club and supporters are left wondering where they are on the agenda.


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