PLTV: English Premier League Has Plans For Its Own TV ChannelBy: Daryl | December 17th, 2008
The English Premier League is threatening to launch its very own TV station, if the bids they receive for the 2010-2013 rights don’t meet expectations. That’s a scary prospect for would-be broadcasters, and possibly for viewers too.
The “Invitations to Tender” (business-suit speak for “How Much You Got?”) documents were sent to potential broadcasters on Monday, and bidding will begin in the next few weeks. The usual suspects will bid: BSkyB, Setanta, BBC (good luck), ITV and maybe even ESPN this time. But if the bids don’t match the Premier League’s no doubt redonculously big figures, the league could just go solo with their own channel.
Here’s a mysterious Deep Throat quote from The Independent:
“PLTV would be a big step and it is not the first-choice option,” said one source. “But it is absolutely feasible, if not perfect. If that is the route the League and its clubs need to take to secure these important revenues going forward, it will happen. You could say it’s been on the shelf for a while, and it’s getting a dusting down.”
Here’s what what was paid for the 2007-2010 rights, UK companies first:
Sky: 1.314bn (billion!) 92 games per season.
Setanta: 392m for 23 games per season
BBC: 171.6m for highlights
Grand Total: 2.7bn
There seems to be some agreement that Premier League TV rights are relatively recession proof. So it probably won’t come to this. But if it did… then PLTV would begin broadcasting in 2010.
How would it work?
Rather than having the money up front from the TV companies, the newly formed PLTV would have to sell its own subscriptions and advertising. Whether this would mean a monthly subscription or a pay-per-game basis isn’t clear. Depending on what they charge (How much would you be willing to pay per month? How about per-game?) then at least the one good thing is that at least all the games would be in one place.
But want know what I think? I think they’re bluffing. I think this is a message to the TV companies to say “We know there’s a credit crunch/recession/depression/whatever on. We just don’t care. Pony up some cash people”.
And they probably will.