Should the Premier League follow the Netflix model?


As a pundit on talkSPORT, former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan often gives a businessman’s view on football, rather than from that of an ex-pro or supporter.

Earlier this week he made an intriguing proposition over the current situation of the broadcasting rights in this country, saying that the Premier League should follow the likes of Netflix and the NFL in the way which football is televised.

Jordan suggested a streaming service be made available to supporters, where fans are able to watch games all from one service and subscribe solely to that, rather than the current state of play which sees it shared across broadcasters.

Sky Sports and BT Sport are the two broadcasters that show Premier League football this season, while Amazon Prime also won rights to show live games at the most recent bid, adding a third subscription fee for supporters to pay.

Currently, supporters spend hundreds of pounds per month to watch live matches, which is set to rise up as high as £1,000 per season to watch games across Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime.

Jordan has suggested a more affordable option for the everyday football fan, which he also believes would increase profits tremendously for the rest of the Premier League clubs.

The concept

Jordan has put forward the idea of taking a leaf out of the book of Netflix and the NFL by offering a ‘Premier League TV’ streaming service, from which supporters can get all of their live games in one place.

He has made the case for offering the subscription service at £8 per month worldwide, with 100 million subscribers per year pulling in £10bn per year - a figure which currently takes four years to achieve.

He told talkSPORT: “The challenges in football are so engaging and so interesting. In my view, the Premier League has the opportunity to become a broadcaster in its own right and dwarf the revenues it currently gets.

“If you look at the NFL, which is perceived as a super sports league, an average NFL team gets $255million – around £200m.

“The average English Premier League club gets around £120m.

“I’ve spoken about the Premier League becoming the ‘Netflix of football’, ie, the video on demand platform that controls its own product.

“If you had 100 million subscribers on ‘Premier League TV’ like with Netflix at £8 a month, you’d be bringing in £10bn a year, not £8.7bn every three years like the current deal does.

“This is the most exciting, exhilarating job you could have in sport so why no one wants it is beyond me.

“Football’s got to own its own outcome and build its own platform and by becoming the Netflix of football you control your own destiny.”

Pep Guardiola Manchester City

Could it happen?

The Premier League is the most watched football league in the world and audiences would certainly be attracted to such an idea, particularly at such an affordable price of just £8 per month, totalling £96 per year.

That said, is it really likely that clubs would take the risk of that, particularly at such a low monthly cost? What if they don’t do the numbers they are anticipating and lose revenue as a result?

The threat of illegal streaming is also a worry and something that the clubs would take particularly seriously. Add to that the fact the TV rights deals are ballooning each year and it seems unlikely that the club’s would take the risk, despite the financial benefits it would bring to us as supporters.

It’s a great idea in theory, but one which could be some way from Premier League clubs agreeing to while they have such a sure-fire flow of cash from Sky, BT and Amazon, which is only set to increase as the years go on.

Premier League

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