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Premier League clubs face at least £300 million bill to broadcasters

The Premier League’s clubs are set to lose between £300m and £350m in broadcast revenues even if they find a way to finish the season. The penalties will be due because they would not be able to fulfil particular obligations from their contracts with the TV companies.

They involve the delivery of the product and, principally, the timing of it. The season would not be able to restart until mid-June, at best, meaning that the broadcasters’ preferred slots would have been missed. There is also the issue of how the matches would look without fans – a government stipulation if they are to take place. Again, this was not what the broadcasters signed up to.

The situation was discussed at Monday’s conference call between the league and the 20 clubs and it has led to at least one of that number questioning why the efforts to complete the season ought to continue. One of the incentives for the clubs to finish was to avoid the potential loss of £762m in broadcast monies. This was the total rebate that might have been due in the worst-case scenario involving a cancellation of the competition. But the clubs now know that there will be a significant loss regardless of what they do.

Negotiations remain ongoing between the clubs and broadcasters as they try to find a way to maximise the visibility of the league’s final 92 matches – mindful that no supporters will be able to watch them in the stadiums.

The hope is to spread the games over seven weekends and two midweeks, with the use of staggered kick-off times, and for all of them to be shown live by Sky, BT Sports and Amazon, although this could prove difficult. It is possible that a small number of them could be carried by free-to-air YouTube channels. The Guardian

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