Manchester United Wants to Negotiate Its Own Media Deals

    • Manchester United hinted at the dampening effect the Premier League's media rights distribution system has on their revenues in a report.
    • The club is the most popular among all Premier League teams on social media.

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Manchester United’s broadcast revenue helped shore up their finances while playing in empty stadiums, but had the Super League taken off, they could have negotiated media deals on very different terms.

The club touched on the fallout from the Super League in its recent annual report, noting that it will pay UEFA $6.8 million to $13.6 million, plus around $5 million as part of a settlement with the Premier League.

It also nodded to the power dynamics that helped inspire the Super League in the first place, noting that Man U’s inability to bargain separately for media contracts can result in terms not “as favourable to us as we might otherwise be able to negotiate individually.”

  • The team brought in $347.3 million in broadcasting revenue for the 12 months ending June 30 — up 88% year-over-year.
  • This helped offset a 92% year-over-year plunge in matchday revenue to $9.7 million. 
  • Man U lost $125.7 million in that period, nearly triple the previous year’s loss. The team had a combined profit of $216.7 million in the four years before the pandemic-affected 2019-2020 season.

The Premier League distributes half its media revenue evenly across its teams, with the other half determined by games played and final standing. 

This system weighs on Manchester United’s ability to capitalize on its popularity. They have the most social media followers of any Premier League team (over 143 million) and  just acquired Cristiano Ronaldo, the most followed athlete on Instagram (347 million).