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BT: “Sport rights value will deflate”

February 17, 2021

Europe’s top football leagues are in for a period of “deflation” in the price of their television rights, says Simon Green, head of BT Sport.

“There’s certainly going to be a rights correction and it may be seen and interpreted by many as rights deflation,” Green told the Financial Times.

Green believes that as the financial disruption from the pandemic deepens there is certain to be a decline in the combined €17 billion in revenues for European leagues last season, primarily through TV contracts.

“Over the last 20 or 30 years [there are] some particular examples of where broadcasters pay an awful lot of money for rights. I don’t think that’s going to happen so much going forward now, so I do see a realignment,” added Green.

Advertising losses caused by the pandemic, alongside the ‘cord-cutting’ of younger viewers switching to digital services such as Netflix, has led broadcasters to scale back spending on sports rights.

Andrew Georgiou, president of Eurosport, the sports network owned by US media conglomerate Discovery, told an FT football event that younger people were showing less interest in sports, particularly football, which could knock future revenue growth in the game.

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