Could there be financial respite for Norwich City over broadcasting?

PUBLISHED: 12:49 12 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:51 12 April 2020

The big prize - the Premier League trophy - but what fate awaits clubs because of the coronavirus pandemic? Picture: PA

The big prize - the Premier League trophy - but what fate awaits clubs because of the coronavirus pandemic? Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Norwich City may have some financial relief after claims that Sky Sports will not demand to be repaid the £371m they are owed by the Premier League if the season is cancelled.

Top-flight clubs may still have to find £341m if the campaign is declared null and void, with clubs having to pay back on average £17m.

Sky and the Premier League are locked in talks and the most favoured outcome is to restart the season. The fear is that might not be able to happen, which the Premier League have calculated would cost them £762m in TV income that would have to be repaid to Sky, BT and overseas broadcasters.

But the talks between Sky and the Premier League have indicated that almost half of £762m is not at risk.

Sky’s figure is £371m, with another £341m needed to be paid back to overseas broadcasters – the reports say there are some companies who would demand the money back, but many have indicated a willingness to negotiate a settlement.

It is hoped that relationships with long-standing overseas broadcasters mean that, in a worst-case scenario, the Premier League would only have to repay at most £150m.

Among the ideas being discussed with Sky if the season were voided are: extending the current rights for another season, until the end of the 2022-23 season; warding Sky and BT extra live games next season so they can show football from Monday to Friday and at the weekend.

However, given that it is still expected that the season will resume and likely behind closed doors, there is also discussion over showing all the 92 remaining Premier League fixtures live on TV.

Of those, 47 are already scheduled to be shown live by BT and Sky — leaving 45 which could now be streamed, given that restrictions on the number and timing of live games are obsolete during a pandemic that will see no fans in stadiums.

Those 45 games represent a valuable commodity and though they will not make up the £200m shortfall in gate receipts, which the Premier League have estimated would be the combined losses of the 20 clubs playing behind closed doors, they might be worth about £50m to Sky or BT, which would further mitigate losses.

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