https://www.theguardian.com/football/20 ... ix-tv-cash
The Premier League’s six richest clubs are facing stubborn resistance against their efforts to seek a greater share of income from the next multibillion‑pound round of TV deals.
In a plan believed by the 14 others to be supported by Manchester United, City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, the Premier League is proposing to end the system by which money from international TV rights sales is shared equally by all 20.
Richard Scudamore, the Premier League’s chairman, is understood to have presented a proposal to a meeting of the other 14 clubs held at the Pullman hotel in London on Wednesday, for 35% of the next international TV money to be distributed according to “merit” – in other words, where clubs finish in the league.
That would be a major change to the arrangement which has operated by agreement since the original 1992 breakaway of the then First Division clubs to form the Premier League, which was itself motivated by the bigger clubs no longer wanting to share TV money with the Football League’s other three divisions.Income from international TV rights 25 years ago was negligible, so the clubs agreed to share that money equally, while only a third of British TV income is divided equally, the other two-thirds shared according to where clubs finish in the league and how many times they are shown on television.
Now, though, the Premier League’s popularity has made it prime content for burgeoning pay-TV operations around the world, delivering approximately £3bn to the 20 clubs in the 2016-19 round of deals. That bonanza added to the £5.1bn from the competition between Sky and BT for British subscribers, plus other highlights deals, makes a total of £8.4bn in the current three-year cycle.
The distribution of TV money last season showed that the champions Chelsea received £151m in total while bottom-placed Sunderland were paid £93m, but the booming international income was shared equally, the 20 receiving £39m apiece. The so-called “big six” clubs argue that as the global revenue rises, as it is expected to again when the 2019-22 deals start to be negotiated later this year, they should receive a larger share because they are the ones which international viewers tune in to watch.
The other 14 clubs have been resisting these moves, in an effort to hold on to their equal share of the money. They are arguing that the sharing arrangement helps them to sign high-quality players and keep the league, as Scudamore describes it, “competitive and compelling” and therefore attractive on TV. Three of the smaller clubs are said to have been inclined at the meeting to agree the new 35% merit payment arrangement, but the agreement of 14 is needed to effect such a substantial change, and 11 remain firmly opposed.
A meeting of all clubs has been called for next Wednesday in London to finalise what the sharing arrangements will be.
Why is there one rule for domestic TV money and another for international TV money? Should be the same for both.