Kieran Maguire: Sunderland 'monitoring' developments in Stockholm as £595m-plus deal on cards
Sunderland will be keenly “monitoring” Viaplay’s bid to wrestle control of the UK broadcasting rights for the EFL away from Sky.
That is the view of finance guru Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the potential end of the UK media giants’ stranglehold on the EFL TV deal.
Sky have long had exclusive control over the rights and the current deal is worth £595m over its five-year lifespan.
But The Times reported last Friday (11 November) that Stockholm-based streaming platform Viaplay are eyeing a bid to take over the broadcasting privileges when Sky’s contract ends after the 2023-24 campaign.
Sunderland, who currently sit 15th in the Championship table going into the World Cup break, will hope to have won promotion by that time.
But Maguire suggests that if they still remain in the EFL, the Black Cats could profit from the increased competition for the TV rights.
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“Viaplay’s potential acquisition of the rights strengthens the EFL’s hand,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“They have previously had to accept that there has been a little alternative to Sky. Therefore, the present £119m-a-year deal doesn’t necessarily give the greatest value.
“When you are selling to one potential buyer, that creates a natural break as far as negotiations are concerned.
“If there are now more potential bidders, this will help the EFL team to drive up the price. Therefore all clubs, including the likes of Sunderland, will be monitoring and can potentially benefit from this.“