Mobile Rights to Premier League Footie Decline in Value

The Premier League has just sold off the rights for “near-live” broadcasting of their football matches for web and mobile in a deal that values the package at less than the last three-year deal in 2003.

In 2003, a consortium of Sky, together with Vodafone and 3 bid £100m ($183 million) for the package. Today, the rights were sold to Sky and BT for £84.3 million and a further £10 million to Sky for the mobile rights.

First question; was the previous 3 year deal overvalued, or has someone at the Premier League screwed up? With web-based video booming through the sound barrier and the whole mobile industry falling over themselves to invest in mobile TV and video, how can this package possibly be worth less than 3 years ago?

Just watch the canny Rupert Murdoch repackage the mobile element¬†and sell it to the operators for 10 times (at least) what¬†he’s just paid.

The operators only really have themselves to blame. Their consortium bid against Sky,¬†on the basis of everyone having¬†an equal¬†share of the rights to show games. But surely, their combined muscle of 5 operators should have figured out that these rights were worth more than 10 million over three years. If ever there was killer content, Premier league footie must surely be it, so why didn’t they put their money behind their strategy?

It would be interesting to know the rationale of why they’ll end up paying through the nose to Mr Murdoch, or face a dearth of the most expensive and compelling football coverage in the world.

[tags] premier league, murdoch, sky tv, bt [/tags]

Story covered in The Guardian.

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