Premier League Revenue to Top 3 Billion Pounds for First Time

The combined revenue of teams in English soccer’s Premier League will leap to more than 3 billion pounds ($4.6 billion) for the first time next season, according to Deloitte LLP.

That’s an increase of about 600 million pounds, or almost 25 percent, on the 2012-13 season as income is boosted by the first year of new broadcasting deals, the accountant said in its Annual Review of Football Finance.

The report, which focuses on the 2011-12 season, says revenue rose 4 percent to a record of almost 2.4 billion pounds in that year, boosted by sponsorship deals for Manchester United and Manchester City with Deutsche Post AG’s DHL and Etihad Airways. The league’s revenue is estimated to have risen a further 5 percent in the season just ended.

“Despite operating in a challenging economic environment, English club football’s profile, exposure and increasingly global interest have continued to drive growth for the top clubs,” Dan Jones, a partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said in a statement.

While the Premier League has the highest revenue of any in soccer, Germany remained Europe’s most profitable league as stricter licensing rules curbed clubs’ spending on player wages. Bundesliga clubs had a combined equivalent of 154 million pounds of operating profit in 2011-12, compared with 98 million pounds for the Premier League, Deloitte said.

Measured in euros, Premier League teams increased revenue 16 percent for the 2011-12 season, compared with a 7 percent increase to 1.9 billion euros ($2.5 billion) for the Bundesliga, Deloitte said.

Bundesliga Boost

Spain’s La Liga, Europe’s third-richest by sales, had a combined sales increase of 3 percent to 1.8 billion euros, according to Deloitte. Revenue in Italy’s Serie A rose 1 percent to 1.6 billion euros, and France’s Ligue 1 had a 9 percent increase to 1.1 billion euros.

The lower revenue growth in Spain and Italy was because of more sluggish economies in those countries, Deloitte said. “Already relatively weak” match-day revenue fell 3 percent in Italy, the report said.

As well as in profitability, the Bundesliga has the upper hand in sporting terms in European soccer. Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in last month’s all-German Champions League final at London’s Wembley stadium after Premier League teams failed to reach even the quarterfinals.

The Premier League’s domestic and international broadcast deals with British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc and other companies are worth about 5 billion pounds over the next three years.

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