The National Football League has ratified this week a new television deals that will generate in excess of US$27 billion over the next nine years. ESPN had previously committed to a new eight-year contract for a further package of games, paying US$1.9 billion annually, while DirecTV pays US$1 billion a year for its Sunday Ticket package.
We are talking about guaranteed TV income of at least US$ 52 dollar over the next decade.
These are agreements which dwarf those in any other sport. They are also a badge of shame for UEFA, which has a mandate over the most popular sports brands in the world but still can’t get a third of what the NFL is getting per year.
Real Madrid are a lot more famous around the world than San Diego Chargers, Manchester United are loved a lot more than Houston Texans and Barcelona are admired globally – unlike any other NFL team.
Arsenal, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, FC Bayern Munich, Inter, Liverpool are better known brands than San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants and any other NFL team.
However, because of the boring Champions League format – the best teams in Europe are not guaranteed to play each other each season.
TV companies just won’t pay much for a league that 80% of its games are either predictable or a meeting of unknown, unpopular brands – with all due respect to Apoel Nicosia.
If UEFA and the clubs want to make more money on a competition that features the most loved brands in the world, they must think about adopting NFL’s model.
A format UEFA most consider HERE.