Rights valuations head south

The preliminary announcement by the Football League that the 3 year package of rights from the 2012-13 season would renew for £69 million less than the previous contract (previous contract value £264m / new deal £195m) shows a shift in the market.

Previously the value of premium rights (which include Football League) was expected to rise as the competition among all the diferrent types of platforms intensified.

Media fragmentation would provide continued momentum. However - one of the major new platforms - the pirates - were not factored into this thinking.

With pirates running up to 80 illegal live feeds per game this has diluted value with audiences and advertisers.

From a rights holder perspective the pirates need to be very actively managed to avoid napsterisation.

As further rights come up for renewal it will be interesting to see if this pattern is repeated.