YOU ONLY GET WHAT MARKET WILL PAY...
YOU can’t fault Championship clubs for wanting a bigger slice of Sky’s cash. They are being shafted.
Take Leeds. In England, only Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs have had a greater percentage of their games shown on TV this season.
At the start of the season, those clubs each received £47m and will get a further £1.9m for every match televised after the tenth live broadcast.
Leeds – who have already been on live six times and selected by Sky for a further eight games this season – were chucked a measly £2.3m, plus a hundred grand for every home game.
Yet those figures do not reflect the club’s value to Sky. In the 2017-18 season, the broadcaster attracted an average audience of 819,000 per Premier League match. For Leeds games, that figure was 361,583.
In other words, Sky are currently paying five per cent of the revenue for 44 per cent of the viewers.
Even under the proposed new terms – up from £90m to £119m per season over the next five years – that disparity would remain.
It’s a terrible deal, patently unfair, and worse again when you consider that Sky now show midweek games for free on the red button without any kind of additional payment to cover a demonstrable drop in attendances.
Yet this week’s threat to form a breakaway league – led by Leeds, Derby, and Aston Villa – rings hollow.
Because any product – a house, a car, TV rights – is only as valuable as the amount somebody is prepared to pay for it.
And for all the excitement and unpredictability, the EFL just ain’t a hot property. At the last round of negotiations, Sky were the solitary bidder. No BT Sport. No Amazon Prime. No Google.
Highlights, meanwhile, have been given up without much of a fight from the BBC to Channel 5, to Quest.
If Leeds or Villa did ditch the deal and take their product to the open market, why would that change? Sky have the Championship over a barrel, and sadly there’s little to do but lie there and get spanked.