May 18, 2023

UEFA's broadcasting rights may rise 33% from 2024/2025

UEFA is focusing on expanding, optimizing and improving its economic performance.

Due to the new format of the Champions League, broadcasting revenues are estimated to increase by 33% from €3.6 billion per year to between €4.6 billion and €4.8 billion.

The new format, coming into force from the 2024/2025 season, is being introduced as the "Swiss model". This new format consists of an increase in the number of participating teams, from 32 to 36, and consequently an increase in the number of matches, from 125 to 186. Two of the four additional vacancies created to increase the number of teams will be attributed to countries whose teams achieved a better overall result in the previous season, thus removing access based on club coefficient. Moreover, the group phase will be replaced by a league-phase format, where each team will play 8 games instead of 6, divided by 4 home and 4 away games. The top 8 teams automatically qualify for the knockout stage, with the teams ranked between 9th and 24th competing in a two-legged tie to determine who makes it to Round of 32. An additional note, in this new format, clubs from the same country will be able to compete against each other at an earlier stage.

For the remaining European competitions, similar formats will be adopted. In the Europa League, the league phase will cover 8 games, while in the Conference League, it will have 6 games. Both competitions will start with 36 teams.

The increase in the number of games is more attractive to broadcasters as it means there will be more matches with seeded teams, which turns into more revenue, and this is a key factor in UEFA negotiating TV deals.

However, not everything is in its favour. The increase in revenue from these deals raises several concerns regarding the financial gap this may create for clubs not playing in the Champions League. However, in order to ease the concerns and questions raised, UEFA has stressed that the money distributed for the clubs competing in the Europa League and Conference League will also increase, as well as the solidarity payments. 

There are already some markets that have been closed: United States (Paramount Global), United Kingdom (Amazon) and France (Canal+)