Finance guru: Sunderland poised to exploit 'ambitious global expansion' as new deal on cards
Sunderland and their peers in the Championship will likely benefit if Viaplay rivals Sky Sports to secure the rights to air the EFL in the United Kingdom.
That is the view of finance expert Doctor Dan Plumley, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the Stockholm-based company’s “ambitious global expansion” plans.
The Times reported earlier this month (11 November) that Viaplay are exploring the possibility of a bid to take over the EFL rigths from Sky.
Sky’s deal, which is worth £119m-a-year, comes to an end after the 2023-24 campaign.
The broadcast giants have long had exclusive control over domestic TV rights, but the dynamics are shifting amid the potential abolition of the 3.00pm Saturday blackout.
Plumley explains that the likes of Sunderland, who currently occupy 15th place in the second tier, will benefit from increased competition for the media privileges.
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“Viaplay is in the middle of an ambitious global expansion at the moment,” the Sheffield Hallam University expert told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“They are in Poland, the Balkans, and the Netherlands. Football is key to maintaining their position in the market.
“The Championship is nowhere near the levels of the Premier League, but it is still a very well-watched competition and a significant player in British football. Any deal for the EFL would be quite a coup.
“If the blackout is lifted and all games are up for grabs, they could probably be a serious competitor to Sky. We know the EFL wants to up their domestic broadcasting rights and that puts pressure on Sky.
“The challenge for the EFL is that there is wariness in the background from what happened last time they tried to move away from Sky with ITV Digital. That almost bankrupted a lot of clubs.
“I don’t think those challenges are in the market as much anymore, so I think there are other options. So, Sky could be under pressure.
“For clubs, if the value of the deal is higher and there are more games in the pot, the amount they earn is going to increase.”