Ligue 1 Broadcaster Cancels Contract: What Would This Mean for Revenue of Premier League Clubs?

Ali Rampling
Nike Premier League Strike Football
Nike Premier League Strike Football / Visionhaus/Getty Images
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French television channel Canal+ have cancelled their contract with the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), after it was announced that the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons would not continue.

On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed that the conclusions to the 2019/20 Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 campaigns would not be played out due to the coronavirus.

The leagues are set to not be completely voided, with relegation, promotion, the title and the Champions League spots to all be enforced.

Obviously it's a crying shame that the season cannot be completed in full, as the Ligue 1 title race was poised to go right down to the wire.

As a result, L'Equipe reports that Canal+, who have exclusive broadcasting rights to Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 alongside beIN Sports, have terminated their contract with the French footballing governing body, the LFP.

The TV channel have already paid €37m for matches played before the coronavirus outbreak triggered the suspension of sport, but indicated they would not make any additional payments if they leagues did not resume.

Canal+ and beIN Sports were supposed to pay a further €243m to the LFP. beIN Sports have not yet cancelled their contract.

Broadcasting revenue is a massive source of income for football clubs in the UK. So what would it mean for the Premier League if an English broadcaster took the same stance as Canal+?


How Much is it Worth?

Norwich City v Watford FC - Premier League
Norwich City v Watford FC - Premier League / Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The Premier League TV rights deal is the largest domestic football deal in the world.

Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon all have rights to the Premier League, in a broadcasting deal worth a staggering £1.665bn per season.

Sky Sports and BT Sport pay a combined £1.575bn, while Amazon fork out £90m.

The Football League is also the subject of a sizeable TV deal - the eighth largest domestic football TV deal in the world.

Sky Sports pay £119m for the right to show the Championship, League One and League Two.


What Are They Paying For?

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool FC - Premier League / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Sky Sports are paying for 128 live Premier League matches, BT Sport are paying for 52, and Amazon Prime are paying for 20.

With their Football League deal, Sky are also entitled to up to 118 Championship games, at least 20 League One and League Two matches, all 15 playoffs, 12 League Cup ties and three EFL Trophy fixtures.


How Is the Money Distributed?

FBL-ENG-PR-BRIGHTON-MAN CITY
FBL-ENG-PR-BRIGHTON-MAN CITY / GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

In the Premier League, 50% of the UK broadcast revenue is split equally between the 20 clubs. 25% is paid in 'merit payments', which is effectively prize money, and is determined by league position. The remaining 25% is paid in 'facility fees', which is based on how many of each club's games were shown on live TV.

Facility fees and merit payments is where the payment disparity between clubs comes in, with high flyers Manchester City and Liverpool pocketing more than Norwich and Watford, as they are televised more and finish higher up in the table.

All clubs pocket an equal share of international television rights money.


How Much Do Clubs Receive?

Liverpool FC v AFC Bournemouth  - Premier League
Liverpool FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

The Premier League reported that during the 2018/19 season, Liverpool received the most TV revenue. The Reds were televised live on 29 occasions in the UK during the campaign, and when adding up the broadcast revenue and central commercial revenue, they pocketed £152.4m.

Premier League champions Manchester City received the second most: £150.9m, while bottom of the table Huddersfield Town earned £96.6m. The Terriers were the only top flight side to pocket less than £100m in broadcast and commercial revenue.


How Much Could Clubs Lose?

Liverpool FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
Liverpool FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg / DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Premier League clubs currently have between nine to 10 games left to play. According to the Athletic, clubs could lose a combined £762m in broadcast revenue.

Individual Premier League clubs would likely lose between £14.5m and £55m, depending on their league position and the number of their games scheduled to be televised.

Liverpool would likely be the biggest casualties due to their lofty league position and the sheer volume of their fixtures selected for live TV. The Daily Mail report that this would see league leaders Liverpool's revenue drop by £55m, from £178m to £123m.

At the other end of the table, Norwich's forecasted revenue could drop by £14.5m.


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