Freddie was already singing it: the show must go on. Or not? The main European soccer leagues have deferred their activity indefinitely due to the coronavirus. A hiatus that, if prolonged until its absolute cancellation, can end up putting the clubs in a financial trouble with the TVs, demanding more than $ 1 billion in compensation.
The legal machinery is already working. According to reports Bloomberg, the big television networks have already put their lawyers to work to enforce the teams the clauses of the transfer of rights contracts.
These television rights are one of the great sources of income for clubs as mediatic as Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, each of them representatives of three of the most affected leagues.
The American newspaper remembers that Sky (owned by Comcast) Y DaznAmong other TVs, they pay more than 6,000 million euros a year to broadcast the football of the big leagues.
Canceling the rest of the league calendar may force them to pay a bill of about 1,120 million dollars, according to estimates Richard Broughton, consultant of Ampere Analysis. The matter is complicated. And it is that television operators usually bet on maintaining a good long-term relationship with the teams. To claim this amount at such a vulnerable time, in which clubs like Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal or Juventus They are dealing with their own coronavirus cases, they can damage the relationship between both parties.
"It is like a house of cards, if an operator seeks compensation, others may be forced to do the same," he says. Simon Chadwick, from Eurasian Sport Industry. "Then it becomes a zero-sum game in which each of the parties involved is exposed to earning the contempt of fans and viewers," he added.
AND NOW THAT?
Subscribers to platforms like Sky Y BT (In the British case) they will soon wonder why they are paying £ 40 a month to see nothing. Since Bloomberg They point out, citing a strong person close to the matter, that a representative of one of these television operators has contacted one of the five major European leagues to negotiate possible financial compensation.
This compensation can be around 25% of the total amount stipulated in the contract, with that percentage of matches still to be played. Therefore, the final compensation will vary according to the nature of each contract. In the British case, Sky and BT spend more than £ 1,500 each year having the Premier League broadcasting rights in the UK alone. They therefore spend an average of £ 170 million for each month of competition.
Under this rule of three and whenever he decides to claim, Sky can ask the English teams for compensation of up to £ 200m. There does not end the thing. BT currently pays £ 390 million a year for exclusive broadcasting rights to the Champions League and Europa League on British soil. If there are fewer matches, not just league games, but from all competitions, "customers will become less tolerant to paying and these operators may be forced to offer discounts or unsubscribe temporarily. "
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