Since the English Premier League and Sky combined forces in the early 1990’s the amount in money flowing through football has been exponential. A world class product showcased in an ever cutting edge way. These days Sky aren’t the only players in Premier League TV rights, the competition is fierce.
How much do EPL clubs get from TV rights? The current domestic broadcast rights deal for the English Premier League covers 3 seasons (2022-23, 2023-4 & 2024-25) and is for £4.8 billion ($6 billion USD). The international broadcast rights contract runs for the same period and is worth £5.05 billion ($6.3 billion USD). Combined these contracts see £10 billion ($12.5 billion USD) split between the clubs that compete in and own the English Premier League over the next 3 seasons. This means that each season £3.3 billion ($4.2 billion USD) is split between the EPL clubs from TV rights.
Now we know the size of the total prize for broadcast rights we can break down the details of what each club will actually receive and how that is determined. For some context the £10 billion total broadcast rights deal dwarfs other commercial rights income, which comes in at $430 million.
How much money do clubs receive from the distribution of broadcast rights?
With the £10 billion ($12.5 billion USD) total broadcast rights income there is clearly plenty of money to go round in the EPL, it is important for the continued smooth running of the league that the money is divided fairly between all 20 clubs. The below taken from the official Premier League website breaks down how.
Domestic broadcast revenue is distributed on a 50:25:25 basis:
– 50% is divided equally between the clubs. (“Equal Share”)
– 25% is awarded on a merit basis, determined by final league positions. (“Merit Payment”)
– 25% is distributed as a facilities fee for televised matches. (“Facility Fees”)
From the 2019/20 season, a formula was put in place for sharing any future increase in international broadcast revenue.
Clubs would continue to share the current levels of international revenue equally, but any increase would be distributed based on where the clubs finished in the Premier League.
The formula would cap the ratio between the maximum and minimum a club received at 1.8:1 (the highest-earning club receives 1.8 times the amount received by the lowest-earning club).
Should future revenues rise to the point where the cap was reached, any additional income would be distributed so that the 1.8:1 ratio was maintained.
- Per PremierLeague.com (2023)
A distinction is made in payments between Domestic and International Broadcast Rights payments. The 5 categories they are broken down into are:
- Equal Share (UK)
- Merit Payment (UK)
- Equal Share (International)
- Merit Payment (International)
- Facility Fees (paid to each club that hosts a broadcasted game on a per game basis)
How are the Merit Payments Calculated for the English Premier League?
- How much will each finishing place get in the Premier League?
The Premier League awards the merit portion of the TV broadcast rights money on a sliding scale from champions to the bottom 20th place. Every position in the Premier League is worth £2.2 million ($2.75 million USD) for the 2022-23 season. This is the first year of the current TV Rights Broadcast Deal and little is expected to change from last season which was the final year of the previous broadcast deal. So the eventual title winners will make in the region of £44 million of merit payments and the bottom team will pick up £2.2 million. It breaks down like this.
|Premier League Merit Payment by Finishing Position (2022-23 Season)|
|League Position||Merit Payment||Next Season|
Combined Domestic & International TV Rights Merit payment
The amounts in the table above are just the merit payment portion of what a club earns from the English Premier Leagues TV Rights Deal. Let’s take a look at what clubs received last year (2021-22) to understand exactly how much cash a club can expect to take home from a typical Premier League season.
How much do you get for winning the English Premier League?
The champions of the 2021-22 English Premier League season were Manchester City. They finished with 93 points, piping Liverpool, 92 points, on the last day of the season.
In total from the 2021-22 English Premier League Season champions Manchester City took home £146.29 million from the combined Domestic & International Broadcast TV Rights deals.
It breaks down like this:
Manchester City 2021-22 TV Rights earnings
- £31.81 million – Equal Share (UK)
- £33.78 million – Merit Payment (UK)
- £48.89 million – Equal Share (International)
- £7.37 million – Merit Payment (International)
- £24.44 million – Facility Fees
£146.29 million – TOTAL
Let’s compare that with the bottom club, Norwich City who finished with just 22 points and were relegated to the Championship, relinquishing their Premier League ownership stake and picking up a sizable parachute payment for the coming seasons outside the EPL.
Norwich City 2021-22 TV Rights earnings
- £31.81 million – Equal Share (UK)
- £1.69 million – Merit Payment (UK)
- £48.89 million – Equal Share (International)
- £0.37 million – Merit Payment (International)
- £11.03 million – Facility Fees
£93.79 million – TOTAL
As you can see, Norwich pulled in about 35% less from TV rights than Champions Manchester City. Line by line we can see that Norwich earned the majority of their money from the Equal Share payments for both Domestic and International TV rights deals. This is the same value as Man City and all other 18 Premier League teams.
They lose a little ground to Man City on the Facility Fees as they are a less popular team and would have had less home games featured on TV domestically.
They lost most of their ground on the massive Domestic Merit Fee, with the entire league between them, you can understand why and how this is absolutely fair.
The way the Premier League calculates and rewards its International TV rights money is interesting. There is the same Equal Share fee as domestically. But the Merit portion is currently much less for International than Domestic. For the start of the 2019-20 Premier League season a rule was put in place to start moving more of the International TV rights to the Merit based pot. The current level of equal share will remain the same, but as the international TV rights money increases it is awarded through the Merit system on a 1:1.8 ratio. The highest-earning club receives 1.8 times the amount received by the lowest-earning club.
To gain a full context of just how much money the Premier League Clubs make from TV rights deals, let’s look at what the 2021-22 Championship winners, Fulham took home.
The prize money on offer in the Championship is tiny compared to the Premier League, with the winner, Fulham, picking up just £100,000, and the second placed team £50,000.
In total Fulham received just over £8 million from TV revenues in the 2021-22 season. Included in this figure are:
Premier League solidarity payment – £4.5 million (all clubs)
Equal Share of the Football League’s TV deal – £2.5 million
Facility Fee (equivalent) – £100,000 per match that features the club.
You can see that as the “worst” Premier League club received almost £100 million while finishing bottom and Fulham received about £8 million for winning the Championship that the financial gulf is WIDE.
The Championship playoff Final is known as “the richest game in football” because 2 teams face off over 90 minutes with the winner reaching the Premier League and a £100 million pay day even if they come straight back down, the loser has to try again next year.
What are Parachute Payments?
There is a system in place to protect Premier League clubs who are relegated. They will often be contracted into high wage bills for players and the money earned at the level below the EPL, the Championship, often won’t cover it. To prevent relegation crippling these clubs financially the Premier League allocates money to relegated teams, known as a Parachute payment.
Relegated clubs will receive 55 per cent of the Equal Share of broadcast revenue (Domestic and International) paid to Premier League clubs in the first year after relegation, 45 per cent the following year and 20 per cent in year three. After the 3 years or if the team is promoted back to the Premier League these payments cease.