In the week since @SamWallaceTel’s huge scoop revealing existence of ‘Project Big Picture’, I’ve been puzzling over the detail, not least the issue of EFL clubs getting 25% of PL revenues from 2022 onwards. It’s not what it seems.

A thread.

Small print of the financial forecast estimates £3.47bn of distributable annual revenue from 2022, including £1.83bn domestic broadcast income & £1.409bn overseas income. Domestic revs will be flat at about £1.66bn, or even down. So why £1.83bn?

Apparently that £1.83bn forecast includes the EFL’s TV money, which under the PBP will effectively come under the control of the PL. So that’s one oddity right there. The EFL will in future get 25% of something they currently own 100%. Erm.

One number really jumped out: the £1.409bn forecast foreign TV revs. Currently PL sells all 380 games to overseas broadcasters for £1.28bn (now Suning deal gone). Under PBP, those 380 will reduce to 162. Yes, DROP by 218 games, as PBP expects value RISE!

The no. of games for overseas broadcasters falls from 380 to 162 pr yr under PBP because an 18-team PL has only 306 games; and of those PBP want each of the 18 teams to be able to sell 8 games pr ssn (144 total) direct to fans overseas, & keep the cash.

So I wondered how much lower the value of the overseas deal would be than £1.4bn if ALL the best (biggest audience) 144 games were sold direct to fans. Answer: about £200m, not £1.4bn. In that case, the EFL’s 25% is looking smaller by the minute.

Having done a bit of digging, now believe it isn’t the case that the BPB foresaw the clubs selling the *best* games direct to fans, but perhaps more of the middling games, the sort currently picked for 3pm on Saturday in “normal” times. But still.

Logic dictates a package of 380 games a yr costing £1.28bn now doesn’t become pack of 162 games at £1.4bn. Should that £1.4bn be £1bn? Half a billion? We’ll see one day. Selling individual games remains key to big clubs’ agenda. Oodles of cash at stake.

If Liverpool or Man Utd could individually sell their home fixture of that match direct to overseas fans, what might they earn? According to analysis of real world global viewing data of recent years, at £5 per fan, as much as £125m. From a single game.

I’ve had access to various data sets at different points (game by game, nation by nation figures) and combined with info unearthed by several research projects, can demonstrate global eyeballs for different PL game types.

The very biggest number of people around the world likely to pay to watch the biggest single PL game in any season (in audience terms combined, outside the UK, whether on TV or legal streams / apps) is about 25million.

And the ‘smallest’ games, aka the chaff, and there are typically around 150 “chaff” PL games each season, will each get fewer than 1m viewers in total around the world. The least watched game might get 38,000 people.

Typically but not all of 30 most-watched games in a season are the ‘Blockbuster’ Big 6 v Big 6 games. I then categorise another 96 “good” games featuring Big 6 v best of ‘Other 14’. Then “so-so” games are mostly O14 v O14; then chaff.

It might surprise many people that even the Blockbusters average only 12m viewers worldwide outside the UK. Anyway: here’s the lowdown on how each category fairs, and what clubs might earn selling these games at different price points.

Most EFL clubs haven’t even seen the PBP document or detail. They’ve just been assured the would be better off financially if it happened. Many will, if only because scrapping parachutes means £220m-£280m gets split between 72 clubs not 7 or 8.

But whether EFL clubs would really have been getting £750m a year from 2022 onwards, or 25% of forecast PL revenues, is, erm, debatable. A chunk of that is theirs already and another chunk will be smaller, perhaps much smaller.

Whoops. Didn't post the key table. HERE IT IS
I don’t think thePBP is wholly bad. It’s mostly pretty awful, obvs. But the debate it has sparked is absolutely necessary, and healthy. And raises awareness of issues that WILL keep coming back until they happen, like individual game sales by clubs.

The media and broadcasting landscapes are changing massively and rapidly and there might well be ways that *all* clubs can benefit, and earn bigger sums to share more evenly, across *all* football.

Finally, links for MoS that cover this, including some angry EFL chairman who want to know what the hell is going on (…); and a bit more on the possibilities of direct-to-fan matches by PL clubs (…)


Of the thread.

This table tells so many stories. Please go back to the start if you want to know what it all means.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Nick Harris

Nick Harris Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @sportingintel

28 Jul
Loads of interesting detail in the CAS full MCFC-UEFA judgement (…)

As long ago as 2012-13 it seems Man City had the most lucrative principle sponsorship deal IN WORLD FOOTBALL (with Etihad); £220m over three years 12-13, 13-14, 15-16.
So Etihad had an original 10-year, £350m deal with City, valid through to 2021. But choose to negotiate it upwards FOUR times between 2013 and 2016. That is an interesting strategy; they must have felt rivals were waiting to pounce and outbid them.
Plenty is deservedly written about Man City's world-class product on the pitch. But what an astonishing job their commercial team did, especially from 2010 to 2016, to secure some of the most lucrative sponsorship deals in global sport. Incredible stuff.
Read 15 tweets
27 Jun
Have seen if not read umpteen articles from 1,500 to 20,000 words explaining LFC's transformation to champions. Hope to summarise in a 4-tweet thread the 48-point swing from MCFC to LFC in 2 years. The overview 1/4
Two seasons ago, City had astonishing resources, most of them consistently available, while LFC had Mignolet and Karius in goal and Lovren as their "best" defender. 2/4
Last season, both MCFC and LFC were just absolutely f***ing amazing, both of them. LFC now had a GK worth the name and a transformative centre-half. And it was *this* close. [Hold fingers a fag paper apart]. 3/4
Read 4 tweets
11 Apr
Today's figures show 78,991 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK. Let's assume only 1 in 20 cases of people with symptoms are being picked up by tests. Real number of cases = 1.58m cases. However .... 1/n
Let's assume half of all cases are completely asymptomatic, so real case total so far isn't 1.58 but 3.16m. Which seems a lot, yes? Except there are 66.65m people in the UK meaning 63.5m still unaffected in any way by this virus. 2/n
So this *current* lockdown has been (really) effective in meaning the NHS hasn't been overwhelmed and *might* have only 10-20k deaths in *this* phase of the pandemic, about 95% of the population vulnerable (again) when lockdown eases. 3/n
Read 4 tweets
4 Apr
There's been a lot of heat and fury around football, wages, morals, obligations, leadership & responsibility in recent days. IMO, lots of people, not least players, and the PL, do want to do the right thing. But reality is, it's complex. A thread.

To understand the issues (which are divisive and polarising), we need to see that each 'stakeholder' (club, fan, player, broadcaster, owner, govt etc) is approaching this from a unique perspective, and each have valid (to them) concerns.

PL clubs are basically now dealing with 2 realistic scenarios, and only 2. One is finishing the season behind closed doors, at some point, maybe in by late summer / autumn. The other is annulment. Virtually no-one thinks 'normal' end with fans viable.

Read 19 tweets
14 Mar
This tweet yesterday was sent with tongue firmly in cheek. But there's a serious issue underlying it, so, for insomniacs, a short thread about the financial implications for sports broadcasters of the coronavirus pandemic. 1/n

I'll use UK-centric examples here but use common sense to apply same principles to all broadcasters of all sports. Sky & BT's public position now is 'no refunds' because events so far are merely postponed, hence hypothetically will be delivered, sometime. 2/n
Things *do* change quite dramatically if events get cancelled outright. Broadcasters have then sold a proposition they won't ever deliver. Perhaps months of sports channels meant to be packed with live sport, carrying none. 3/n
Read 12 tweets
14 Feb
Man City banned from the Champions League for two years for committing "serious breaches" of FFP up to 2016. Also breached rules by failing to co-operate with investigation. Extraordinary stuff.
Be interesting to see how this affects Pep Guardiola's future given that he repeatedly said his City bosses insisted they had done nothing wrong. Does he continue to work for people it now appears lied to him? Or does he suck it up and carry on?
Man City made a (small) profit of £10m in 2018-19 on revenue of £535m. But more than £100m of that was CL related (prize money, home games, sponsor ship). No CL football and City quite possibly become heavily loss-making.
Read 20 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!