One story that has come about lately is the situation with the Overseas TV rights to show Premier League football. Liverpool's managing...

One story that has come about lately is the situation with the Overseas TV rights to show Premier League football. Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre has raised an issue with how the money from the deals is divided and is pushing for debate to happen that could see a huge shake up in our game.

The current overseas rights sold to over 98 broadcasting partners and shown in over 212 countries worldwide is worth an estimated £1.4 billion and expires and runs until 2013.

In a fascinating article in The Guardian, Ayre states the following:
"Personally I think the game-changer is going out and recognising our brand globally, Maybe the path will be individual TV rights like they do in Spain. There are so many things moving in that particular area.

What is absolutely certain is that, with the greatest of respect to our colleagues in the Premier League, but if you're a Bolton fan in Bolton, then you subscribe to Sky because you want to watch Bolton. Everyone gets that. Likewise, if you're a Liverpool fan from Liverpool, you subscribe. But if you're in Kuala Lumpur there isn't anyone subscribing to Astro, or ESPN to watch Bolton, or if they are it's a very small number. Whereas the large majority are subscribing because they want to watch Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal.

So is it right that the international rights are shared equally between all the clubs? Some people will say: 'Well you've got to all be in it to make it happen.' But isn't it really about where the revenue is coming from, which is the broadcaster, and isn't it really about who people want to watch on that channel? We know it is us. And others. At some point we definitely feel there has to be some re balance on that, because what we are actually doing is disadvantaging ourselves against other big European clubs."
Let's just re-emphasise that at the moment this debate is only going to be about the Overseas rights and not the domestic rights.

He has a point though doesn't he. No disrespect to the other teams in the Premier League but you wouldn't imagine bars all over the world would be packed out to the brim with fans crammed in to catch a glimpse of Norwich v Bolton would you?.

The thing is, especially with the situation at Chelsea now with our ground, every single club is going to look at their revenues with the new financial fair play ruling coming in to play and will look at how they can maximise their income. This will include naming rights and increasing match day revenues including the likes of cost of match tickets costs for using a ticket broker who sells tickets to games or away travel.  

Overseas TV rights WILL BE one of those revenues the likes of us, Arsenal, Liverpool and United will look at.

The only problem with all this would be the gap within the Premier League. Clubs already feel as though they can't compete at the top level because of financial restrictions and the overseas money, if negotiated like this, would prove an even bigger problem.

To me and it is unfortunate, the financial fair play ruling will more or less force the hand of the bigger clubs here to do whatever it takes to get more money from deals such as these to ensure that when it comes to "living within their means", they have plenty.

So to you the football fan reading this no matter where you are from and who you support, I want to hear your take on this. Are the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool right to consider these options of breaking away from the current deal that is shared equally among ALL the clubs in the Premier League?


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