European football’s governing body Uefa is planning on refunding €575m ($667m) to rights-holding broadcasters because of the disruption to its club competitions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the head of the continent’s clubs association, Andrea Agnelli.
“We are in the process of finalizing the accounts with Uefa with a reduction of around €575m for the international club competitions,” Agnelli said at the European Club Association virtual assembly today (Tuesday).
Uefa generated €3.25bn in gross commercial revenues from this season’s Champions League, Europa League and the 2019 Uefa Super Cup.
Its contracts for competitions require broadcasters to pay in two tranches. The first tranche is in July and second tranche is in January. This means that broadcasters had already paid in full for this season’s matches before the pandemic halted competition in mid-March.
The Champions League and Europa League resumed in a truncated form in August. But the five-month suspension and shortfall in matches has prompted broadcasters to seek rebates.
Telco Altice, which holds exclusive Champions League and Europa League rights in France, is so far the only broadcast partner to have publicly and explicitly demanded its money back. It pays €350m per season for its rights to the two competitions for the 2018-21 cycle.
However, streaming platform DAZN cited the suspension and the reduced number of matches as reasons for its desire to terminate its media-rights deal for the Champions League and Europa League in Southeast Asia and Japan one year early, before it even had the opportunity to launch its platform in the region.
Speaking in April, Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group chief executive Anders Jensen said that the broadcaster would expect to receive compensation on a pro rata basis if the 2019-20 Champions League season was not concluded.
The English Premier League is spending well over £300m (€327m/$385m) to compensate its domestic and international broadcasters for pandemic-related disruption.