The Month in Soccer Business: May 2012

A monthly compilation of interesting business news related to soccer. May 2012.

ESPN turns the heat up on Soccer Coverage – May 1st

ESPN has taken another solid step in its effort to provide full soccer coverage to fans worldwide with the introduction of ESPN FC, an effort that will provide umbrella branding for all of its diverse soccer media coverage.

This appears to be the network’s biggest step yet and will include a multilingual, multi-nation push to expand and brand its coverage and will include television, print, Internet, radio and online aspects to the branding effort.

Full Article >> Mobile Sports Report 

 

UEFA takes first steps on road to centralisation – May 2nd

UEFA has launched its highly-awaited global tender process for the broadcast rights covering European qualifying matches for Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The launch of the tender process, marking UEFA’s move to a centralised media rights sales process for European qualifiers, comes less than a week after the governing body invited media companies to register their interest in the rights.

Full Article >> Soccerex

 

Manchester derby smashes viewing records for Sky – May 3rd

Monday’s top-of-the-table Barclays Premier League clash between local rivals Manchester City and Manchester United attracted a record-breaking audience of more than four million viewers to UK pay-television broadcaster BSkyB, according to research by SportBusiness Intelligence.

 The match, which was televised live on the Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD channels, pulled in the highest viewing figures ever for a Sky Sports broadcast, attracting an average audience of 4.049 million viewers (a 16.2% share) for the match itself.

Full Article >> SportBusiness.com 

 

Rangers Lose Preferred Bidder as Miller Drops Offer for Team – May 8th

American Bill Miller, the preferred bidder for Rangers Football Club Plc, withdrew his bid for the Glasgow soccer team after finding its preliminary financial statements were “more optimistic than reality.”

The Tennessee businessman was made the preferred bidder earlier this month by Duff & Phelps, the administrators for the team, which is in a form of bankruptcy. Today, in a statement to the U.K.’s Press Association, Miller said he would withdraw from the process after several days of looking at the 54-time Scottish champion’s accounts.

Full Article >> Bloomberg Businessweek 

 

Ukraine’s Euro 2012 soccer showcase turning into headache – May 9th

The June Euro 2012 soccer championship was Ukraine’s chance to shine: forge closer ties with the West, boost its international standing and aid its struggling economy.Instead, it’s become a headache.Top EU officials have vowed to boycott matches held in Ukraine over the alleged mistreatment of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. And critics warn that the cash-strapped government has endangered the country by spending as much as $14 billion on the championship.

Full Article >> Toronto Star

 

BSkyB, ESPN Vie in U.K. Soccer – May 14th

A day after Manchester City won the crown as England’s top soccer club on Sunday in the closest title race in decades, another battle is looming: the auction of U.K. broadcasting rights to live Premier League soccer, which could raise up to £2 billion ($3.21 billion) for the clubs involved.The closely watched auction, for which parties have until Wednesday to apply for a copy of the invitation to tender, is likely to be a two-horse race between U.K. satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC, which secured the lion’s share of rights in the last auction and has dominated coverage over the past two decades, and Walt Disney Co.’s entertainment and sports network, ESPN, which could be looking to extend its share this time round.

Full Article >> WSJ

 

UEFA to extend Euro 2020 bids beyond yesterday’s deadline – May 16th

UEFA have confirmed that countries will still be able to bid for Euro 2020 – even if they did not declare an interest before yesterday’s deadline.

The declarations of interest were made before the deadline – from Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland jointly, plus potential solo bids from Turkey and Georgia.

 UEFA said they will now launch a new process which will allow any of the 53 member associations to submit a bid. The European body only confirmed that “some national associations” had expressed their interest in bidding but did not reveal any names of countries involved.

Full Article >> Irish Independent

 

Corinthians retain place as Brazil’s financial powerhouse – May 17th

Corinthians has retained its position as Brazilian football’s leading revenue generator for the third consecutive year, but the club has deflected suggestions that its dominant position is under threat.

Auditing and consulting company BDO’s report into the financial state of Brazil’s top 20 clubs in 2011 outlines that Corinthians generated revenues of US$144.7 million, a 37% increase on the previous year. Sao Paulo came in second place with $112.7 million, while Internacional took third with $98.8 million. Santos was the biggest climber, with its revenue jumping by 62% to occupy fourth place with $94.3 million.

Full Article >> Soccerex

 

Five-Team Women’s Pro-Soccer League Dissolving After Three Years – May 18th

Women’s Professional Soccer, the one- time home of U.S. players Abby Wambach, Hope Solo and Christie Rampone, is folding after three seasons and a legal battle with a former team owner.

The WPS board agreed to permanently suspend operations immediately, the San Francisco-based soccer league said today in a release on its Facebook page.

After starting with seven teams in 2009, the league shrank to five before suspending operations earlier this year.

Full Article >> Bloomberg BusinessWeek

 

 PFSC discusses third-party ownership – May 18th

The Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC) met today in Munich on the eve of the 2012 UEFA Champions League final.

Third-party ownership of players was one of the issues that was top of the day’s agenda and was debated extensively at the meeting. In light of the widespread emergence of this phenomenon in European football, and the threats associated with it, UEFA is considering a ban on the registration of players subject to third-party ownership arrangements for its competitions.

Full Article >> UEFA

 

BBC keep rights to air ‘Match of the Day’ Premier League highlights for three more years from 2013/14 season – May 25th

The three-year deal running to 2015-6 represents a 5 per cent improvement on the last contract. It is the first to be concluded in a rights auction that began only three weeks ago but is by no means the League’s most lucrative property.

Live rights, currently hosted by Sky and ESPN, have been worth £1.78 billion in the three-year cycle that ended this season.

Full Article >> The Telegraph 

 

FIFA Establishes $75 Million Insurance Fund for Soccer Players – May 25th

Soccer’s governing body set up an insurance policy to pay clubs a maximum annual payout of $9.7 million per player injured while on national team duty.

FIFA has committed $75 million for the policy, which can pay as much as $91 million. It begins in September and expires at the end of 2014. FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke called the policy “important” in comments at the organization’s annual meeting in Budapest.

Full Article >> Bloomberg BusinessWeek 

 

Italian match-fixing scandal implicates Juventus coach – May 28th

The match-fixing scandal that has rocked Italian soccer during the past year implicated the coach of Serie A champion Juventus on Monday and ensured at least one player won’t be at the European Championship.

Police swept through the Italian national squad’s training camp near Florence as part of a wide-ranging investigation into fixing that resulted in 14 arrests – including Lazio captain Stefano Mauri – to bring the total number arrested to about 50 since last year.

The Italian soccer federation later said Juventus coach Antonio Conte is under investigation for alleged wrongdoing while in charge of Siena in 2010-2011, and announced the withdrawal of defender Domenico Criscito from the Euro 2012 squad a day before the player lists have to be submitted to UEFA.

Full Article >> Sports Illustrated 

 

Deloitte survey finds Premier League player wages have hit record high – May 30th

The rise in player wages has reached record levels in the Premier League – a worrying trend with clubs now subject to Uefa’s financial fair play rules.

The latest annual review of football finance by Deloitte shows the increase in wages outstripped the growth in revenues.

It has resulted in a wages/revenue ratio of 70% in the Premier League – a record figure having crept up from the low- to mid-60s five years ago.

Full Article >> The Guardian 

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The Month in Soccer Business: May 2012

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