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A “Netflix-style” streaming service is the latest proposition the Premier League’s new chief confirmed is on the cards with the purpose to drive revenue and disrupt BT Sport and Sky subscriptions.
During the TV bidding process for the 2019-2022 seasons, the Premier League considered launching its own digital service in some countries to stream live games and content directly to fans.
The Premier League’s new chief executive Richard Masters confirmed in a report by The Guardian it would “eventually sell matches on a Netflix-style channel.”
The launch of its own dedicated streaming service would see the League charge directly for its content rather than selling the rights to TV companies, which include the likes pf BT Sport and Sky in the UK.
The Premier League makes £3.1 billion a year from TV rights alone, of which £1.4 billion comes from foreign buyers.
If it launched its own streaming service in some territories this could lead to substantial rises in revenue. It was forecasted that if the Premier League kept these TV rights for itself, it could potentially make another £100m in Singapore alone.
As is, in Singapore, Singtel pays £70 million a season to the Premier League, however, it makes £175 million a year from subscribers who pay around £35 a month for live games.
Masters suggested a two-tiered system, with some countries watching games shown by existing TV broadcasters such as Sky and BT, while others stream directly from the Premier League.
Masters said: “I’m not saying it will happen in the next cycle or when it will happen but eventually the Premier League will move to a mix of direct consumer and media rights sales.
“It is impossible to say when that will be.”
During the last bidding process, the League invested “a lot of recourse in building out our expertise and capacity in direct to consumer,” Masters explained, adding that a test and trial in a few markets was considered but ultimately opted not to pursue this opportunity in the immediate instance.
He said: “We are going to continue for the planning phase in the next commercial term to build out those capabilities.”
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Last week the Premier League announced a massive £2 billion deal with Nordic broadcaster NENT for the rights for Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland from 2022-2028.
This is an increase of more than 20% a year with Masters insisting the Premier League was in good health.
“We have every reason to be optimistic about the future of sports rights. I don’t think the bubble has burst because our business is effectively hedged between domestic performance and international performance.”
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