FA Will Oppose UEFA Rights Proposals

February 24, 2011

Any deal that may see television rights for some England national soccer team games sold collectively by UEFA would be forbidden by the Football Association (FA) if it meant that broadcast revenue would be slashed.

The FA is currently in negotiations with European soccer’s governing body, which wants to centralise the awarding of such rights for European Championship – and possibly World Cup – qualifiers.

As a result, that could significantly reduce cash-flow for the FA, which is insisting upon being compensated for any shortfall, according to the Daily Mail.

A spokesman for the governing body stated: “The FA will not sign or agree to any deal that results in a reduction in broadcast revenue.”

The TV rights to England games are currently bundled in with those for the FA Cup and were worth US$687m domestically, and a further $242.5m in overseas contracts, when the FA signed a four-year deal with ITV and Setanta in 2007.

The collapse of Setanta meant that the FA had to seek a new deal and agreed a different contract with ESPN, which is now out of step with the ITV contract.

The soccer associations of Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Holland are also said to be seeking assurances about compensation for any shortfall they might suffer, with UEFA wanting all 53 member federations to sign over their broadcast rights in time for the annual congress in Paris next month.

Any such deal would mirror the way in which TV rights are awarded for Champions League and Europa League matches.