EU big five football league values now closely aligned
The value of Europe's key soccer tournaments is now closely aligned relative to local market value following the spate of recent soccer auctions. Recent deals for the English Premier League (EPL), Italy's Serie A and France's Ligue 1 mean four of the top five European soccer leagues now fall within a narrow range of value ratios compared to the value of commercial TV (subscription and advertising) in each market. The recent drop in the EPL domestic rights value led to speculation that the days of hyper-inflation for soccer rights were over. Then, the (disputed) February auction for Serie A rights saw a bid from Mediapro at an 11% inflation rate, and later in May, France's Ligue 1 sold 60% higher in a €1.15bn annual deal. With Sky and BT's pull back in the UK leading to a drop in value of the EPL, the value of top soccer in France, Italy and the UK now falls between 15% and 17% of the value of the commercial TV market in each. Germany's Bundesliga (which agreed a deal back in 2016) still has some catching up to do. By contrast, prior to the round of recent auctions, Ligue 1 value represented only 10% of market value while the EPL and Serie A were aligned at 15%-16%. Historically, Spain's La Liga has been highly effective in monetising its rights with its ratio significantly outperforming the other markets, although that is in part driven by the the rapid decline of the Spanish market after 2007. La Liga rights are currently in auction.