Apple TV set to enter bidding war for Premier League rights

AHEAD OF THE GAME: Apple TV set to enter bidding war for Premier League rights… while Qatar Sports Investments are unlikely to buy Tottenham following meeting with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy

  • Apple TV are preparing a bid for next set of Premier League domestic TV rights
  • The FA are refusing to give in to clubs who want to abandon cup replays
  • Qatar Sports Investments are unlikely to buy Spurs despite meeting Daniel Levy
  • Premier League and EFL making little progress over a new financial settlement
  • Apple TV are preparing a bid for the next set of Premier League domestic television rights that would transform the way the topflight is broadcast in this country.

    The tech giant are looking to increase their live football coverage, with a 10-year contract to broadcast Major League Soccer beginning next month.

    They have already dipped their toe into the Premier League market by making a documentary about the European Super League, called The War for Football, which was released yesterday.

    Apple TV are preparing to put forward a bid for next set of Premier League domestic TV rights

    Apple TV are preparing to put forward a bid for next set of Premier League domestic TV rights

    The Premier League’s current three-year deal with Sky Sports and BT Sport expires in 2025, with the tender process for the next set of rights due to begin later this year.

    Many clubs with American owners, such as Chelsea under Todd Boehly, are convinced that at £5.1billion over three years the current rights are undervalued and are looking to US tech companies to drive up the price.

    A serious bid from Apple is the biggest threat to Sky Sports’ dominance of Premier League coverage since they gained exclusive rights to the competition in 1992, as they have the financial clout to challenge them.

    QATAR UNLIKELY TO BUY SPURS

    Daniel Levy’s meeting with Qatar Sports Investments chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi earlier this month is unlikely to lead to the company buying into Tottenham, as UEFA rules would restrict them to purchasing a minority stake.

    Tottenham owner Joe Lewis’s preference is a full sale as he seeks an exit strategy after 23 years, which would be beyond QSI given their ownership of Paris Saint-Germain.

    QSI have also dismissed suggestions of a naming rights deal for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with sources pointing out that they have not sold naming rights for the Parc des Princes in the 12 years they have owned PSG.

    Daniel Levy¿s meeting with Qatar Sports Investments chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi earlier this month is unlikely to lead to the company buying into Tottenham

    Daniel Levy’s meeting with Qatar Sports Investments chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi earlier this month is unlikely to lead to the company buying into Tottenham

    DO HOLD FIRM ON CUP REPLAYS

    The FA are refusing to give ground in the face of attempts from the Premier League to scrap FA Cup replays after 2024 to accommodate the expansion of the Champions League to 10 group games per club.

    Cup replays were temporarily removed in each of the past two years to help with the fixture backlog caused by Covid-19, but will take place in the third and fourth rounds this season, with seven replayed ties scheduled for midweek.

    The FA are refusing to give ground in the face of attempts from the Premier League to scrap FA Cup replays after 2024

    The FA are refusing to give ground in the face of attempts from the Premier League to scrap FA Cup replays after 2024

    Replays are a lucrative source of revenue for the FA as they provide broadcasters with prime-time midweek matches at the height of winter, and the governing body will demand significant compensation from the Premier League in order to give them up.

    The FA are also seeking to alter the distribution of prize money in favor of smaller clubs by increasing payments made for progress in earlier rounds.

    PARACHUTE PAYMENT IMPASSE

    The Premier League and EFL appear to be making little progress in negotiations over a new financial settlement — the so-called New Deal for Football — despite face-to-face talks last week.

    The EFL are still demanding a 25 per cent share of future Premier League TV rights, but the top flight are offering a modest increase from the current 16 per cent, with 19 per cent mentioned in last week’s negotiations.

    The Premier League and EFL making little progress over a new financial settlement

    The Premier League and EFL making little progress over a new financial settlement

    The Premier League are refusing to bow to the EFL’s request to radically alter or even abolish parachute payments.

    They argue that without the cushion of four years’ guaranteed income, promoted clubs would not invest enough in new players, thus making the division less competitive.

    The EFL say parachute payments have destroyed the Championship’s competitive balance.

    WOMEN’S GAME STILL GROWING

    Leading talent agency Wasserman are expanding their women’s football division in the UK in another sign of the growth of the female game in this country following the Lionesses’ European Championship win last summer.

    The Los Angeles-based company, who already have a strong stable of American stars — including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan — have recruited leading agent Louise Fellows from Quantum Sports Management in the hope of increasing their UK client base.

    The move is another sign of the growth of the female game in this country following the Lionesses¿ Euros win last summer

    The move is another sign of the growth of the female game in this country following the Lionesses’ Euros win last summer

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