Telekom Serbia paying much more than others for Premier League TV rights

NEWS 30.11.2021 18:33

British blogger The Swiss Rambler said that Telekom Serbia will pay 900 percent more for the TV rights to the Premier League than what Sport Klub is paying now.

Telekom Serbia signed a contract to pay the Premier League a total of 600 million Pounds (some 705 million Euro) for the TV rights from 2022 to 2028, the blogger said basing the calculation on data published by The Times and The Athletic. Swiss Rambler has more than 193,000 followers on Twitter. His analysis was retweeted by Serbian lawyer Milan Antonijevic who said that Telekom Serbia is using public funds to pay double what the cost of the rights to the Premier League for China.

Swiss Rambler posted his findings on Twitter, commenting a six year contract to TV rights for the Premier League which the US NBC network paid 2.7 billion Dollars for. The Twitter posts said that this was more than double the previous contract and compared his findings with contracts signed for other countries including Serbia. The Telekom Serbia contract is worth 10 times the previous contract.

“Other overseas deals suggest the Premier League is still very much regarded as a premium product. New Nordic £2 bln 6-year deal is double the previous one, while Australia is nearly 60% higher and Serbia 10 times as much. Only China saw a decline after the PPTV agreement terminated,” he wrote.
Antonijevic’s attention was drawn to the fact that China is paying half the amount that Serbia is. “If I see this right, the state company Telekom paid double what the Chinese TV company paid for the rights to the Premier League with our money, that is 600 million while the rights for China cost 300 million? It would have been better to build a Telekom highway or a metro in Novi Sad,” Antonijevic tweeted.

According to the posts, the rights for China cost 300 million Pounds but for two years less which means that Serbia is set to pay 100 million Pounds (some 117 million Euro) per season while the Chinese company is set to pay 75 million Pounds (some 88 million Euro). The Telekom contract includes the rights for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Slovenia.

Telekom Serbia CEO Vladimir Lucic refused to disclose the value of the contract, citing business secrets. N1 reported earlier that Lucic claimed that the decision to buy the rights to sports coverage was purely a business decision which will bring profits and dividends to shareholders. He rejected claims that Telekom Serbia’s company strategy is part of the wider strategy of the Serbian authorities of soft power in the Balkans.
United Media paid 12 million Euro a year for the TV rights to the Premier League between 2019 and 2022. According to the CEO of United Media’s Sport Klub that cable TV channel has the rights to the Premier League up to September 2022.

According to leaked Telekom Serbia documents, that state-controlled company’s business strategy includes destroying its main rival United Group’s SBB cable operator which broadcasts Sports Klub and N1.