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Premier League’s Asian broadcasters eye rebate over fixture rescheduling

The Premier League could face another financial blow after its Asian broadcast partners demand a rebate due to its fixture scheduling prioritising domestic fans.

England’s top flight league has rescheduled a number of fixtures to domestic evening slots throughout September, which has reportedly led to broadcasters in areas such as Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore to request a multi-million-pound rebate if this type of scheduling is to continue.

Asia is viewed as an important market to the English Premier League in growing its audience and overall wealth. The league lost its £188 million per year deal with Chinese broadcaster Suning PPTV and will not want to lose any more of its £400 million riches from the region.

The broadcasters from across the Asian region have complained that the deal has been devalued from its reported £330 million across PCCW’s Now TV, Singtel, Star Sports, TrueVisions and Astro, due to the late kick-off times that have greatly reduced the viewing figures because of the unsociable hours that games are being shown.

The Premier League in the past has had success in being able to negotiate broadcast deals with the Asian market as a result of their ability to be able to schedule fixtures to suit primetime TV slots, however, only two matches have been played at 3pm so far this season after UK fans demanded that all games were broadcasted whilst they were being played behind closed doors.

This, in turn, has led to games being moved to work with domestic broadcast partners who make up the bulk of the broadcasting deal, which are Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and the BBC.

Further disruption and unrest could take place in the coming weeks after the UK government moved to cancel plans of allowing some fans back into stadiums in October, resulting in the Premier League having to mull over a new broadcasting schedule to suit all broadcasters, fans and clubs who are set to lose up to £100 million a month in their usual matchday revenue.

An emergency meeting has been called for October 3, where the broadcasting schedule is set to be finalised.

Author: Jake Wilkin