Clubs that participated in UEFA's Champions League and Europa League competitions are set to face further cash blows as UEFA looks set to refund €575 million to broadcasters because of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Head of UEFA's European Club Assocation (ECA), Andrea Agnelli, confirmed that the European governing body would pay the rebate at the ECA virtual assembly, which took place on Tuesday. “We are in the process of finalizing the accounts with Uefa with a reduction of around €575 million for the international club competitions,” said Agnelli.
The deal between UEFA and its broadcast rights holders requires them to pay in two tranches, with the first tranche to be paid in July and the second in January, meaning that broadcasters had already fully paid for the rights for this season’s competitions before the interference of the pandemic took place.
Despite the competition resuming in August in a newly reformed format, the deficit in matches in conjunction with the five-month break, has meant that broadcasters have requested refunds on their payments.
Thus far, Telco Altice, who exclusively hold the rights to UEFA Champions League and Europa League football in France, are the only broadcaster to have publicly requested a rebate, having paid €350 million to broadcast the games this season.
The pandemic came as a big blow for DAZN who are continually trying to add sports rights deals to its portfolio but decided to terminate its media-rights deal in Southeast Asia and Japan, before the launch of the platform in the region, naming the suspension and reduced number of matches as the reason for doing so.
Similarly, the English Premier League is feeling the financial effects caused by the pandemic as they too are compensating what is thought to be over £300 million to its domestic and international broadcasters.
UEFA generated €3.25 billion in gross commercial revenues from this season’s Champions League, Europa League and the 2019 UEFA Super Cup.
Author: Jake Wilkin