UK Football League to Accept ITV Digital Compromise, Predicts Analyst

07 March 2002

Britain's ITV Digital will succeed in renegotiating its three-year, £315 million ($448m; €511m) broadcast agreement with the Football League – that's the result predicted by Barclays Stockbrokers analyst David Ferguson.

Losing money hand over fist, the terrestrial digital platform is desperate to restructure its deals – the largest of which is with the League (the three divisions below the Premier League).

The two sides have become embroiled in a war of words, with League chief executive David Burns recently claiming that Carlton Communications and Granada Media – parents of ITVd – have a legal obligation to honour the full deal [WAMN: 05-Feb-02].

However, the League will eventually accept a compromise, predicts Ferguson, since the only alternative is to sell the rights to satellite operator and digital market leader BSkyB, which is unlikely to pay anywhere near as much.

"There is a lot of posturing going on, but ultimately they will sit down and do a deal," he forecast.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff