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No end in sight?: Football, Vines and Value

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Professor Raymond Boyle from the Centre for Cultural Policy Research at the University of Glasgow leads CREATe’s Work Package on Copyright, Football and European Media Rights. His blog below summarises several aspects of IP and licensing within the sport media environment. A full article from the project will appear in Media, Culture and Society in April 2015.


footballThe demise in the value of television rights for live football has been long predicted. Yet the successive rights deals in the case of the FA Premier League (FAPL) continue to disprove this. The current three year deal that ends shortly was worth £1.78billion.

In just over the twenty years since its creation the FAPL has helped launch and sustain the UK pay-Tv platform BSkyB. Forget all the talk about first run movies, its exclusive live sport, or, more accurately live English football that has helped position Sky as wealthiest broadcaster in the UK.

While Sky and the FAPL have re-written the rule book regarding how sport gets covered on television in the last couple of decades, so too the internet and digital technologies have transformed the media landscape and how we consume mediated football. Pay-Tv was a business model built on aggressive promotion, subscription, protection of content and above all exclusivity of rights. In contrast, the age of social media is characterized by mobility and sharing information and content, anytime, any place.

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