New EPL football domestic, international rights deal set to be worth more than £10BN | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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The English Premier League money truck looks likely not to show any sign of slowing down with the next range of three-year TV rights auctions set to make the world’s most popular football league have a global worth of £10.9 billion, according to Ampere Analysis.

Ampere EPLrights 23Jan2018In February 2015, UK pay-TV leaders Sky and BT paid £5.136 billion for the seven live TV packages over the three Premier League seasons beginning 2016/17, a combined 70% increase on the previous deal.

While it says that it remains a possibility that both BT and Sky pull back on their spend to the point that there is a decrease in absolute value of the Premier League, Ampere regards this as unlikely as BT and Sky still have a lot to gain from continuing to hold and promote Premier League.

Ampere Analysis believes that the next deal for the 2019/2020-2021/2022 seasons will be worth between £5.5 billion and £5.9 billion, representing an inflation rate of between 9% and 15%. Yet the analyst sees the largest growth being driven by new entrants pushing up the international rights valuations exceeding that for the domestic arena. Indeed Ampere forecast that the international rights value could increase by as much as 58% to reach £5.05 billion, thus taking the overall total to £10.9 billion, up from £7.37 billion for the UK and international rights in the previous auction.

Looking at the drivers for the growth, Ampere regards Amazon as a wildcard changing the face of the competitive bidding process, describing the ecommerce firm as a 'golden shield' for the Premier League at a critical time when margin squeeze means traditional bidders might otherwise hit the buffers on their willingness to spend. It also sees Amazon as representing a significant potential bidder for international rights and is one of the key reasons why Ampere expects international rights inflation will exceed that seen in the UK this time around. Yet it feels that contrary to reports speculating that the firm may go big on the Premier League, any Amazon bid for UK rights would be limited to one of the smaller packages.

Ampere also floated the idea that there was still the possibility of other new bidders. It noted that Liberty Global has, in the past three years, shown an increasingly voracious appetite for direct control of content, including the purchase of Formula One as a sport.

The most likely scenario for the analyst is that Sky takes four or five of the seven new packages made available while BT takes two or three and another bidder - for example most Amazon or Liberty - takes one or two. "Unlike the bidding for the 2017 to 2019 rights, life is now very much less certain. What has changed is the very real threat that Amazon will look to take at least some of the UK and later on, international rights," said Ampere Analysis research director Guy Bisson. "At the same time, domestically, Sky and BT's appetite to increase spend in line with the previous rates of inflation may have waned. The inflationary pressure will be focused on international rights and will be driven by the threat from Amazon and other potential new entrants."