The very last game of the old-style soccer format in Europe for the top tier of events was between Barcelona and Sampdoria and it happened in May 1992. On that occasion, the European Cup was awarded to the Spanish team. But on the heels of that came the brand-new format under the rebranding of the UEFA Champions League. The tournament has obviously done extremely well since then and this year the thirty-two teams that are competing are set to earn a total of €1.45 billion. There are almost no other sport competitions on the planet that come even close to that kind of money.
So, what does that really mean? The team who comes out on top will earn just under a hundred million euros for the team owners. Part of that comes from domestic television rights and so it is difficult to calculate but at least half of it is a fixed amount. There used to be the same names always winning that top spot in the tournament before the reorganization: Real Madrid, Man United, AC Milan were a few – but now these teams play each other much more often due to the new format. Not only does this mean that they don’t have an easy journey to the top – or at least as easy as they did – but it also means that broadcasters are paying more because fans want to see those teams play each other.
In 2013, the entire footballing world was abuzz with the fact that British Telecom made a deal to carry the Champions League live exclusively for an incredible €1.1 billion. Sky television was vying for those rights as well but missed out and ended up paying a huge amount of money for the English Premiership – another of the most profitable tournaments in sports.
When it comes to soccer, the sport is definitely leading the market in Europe. England are at the top with revenues of €3.9 billion by the end of 2014. Germany had revenues of €2.3 billion in Spain brought in €1.9 billion. Experts are predicting that in the 2016 – 2017 season, the broadcast rights are going to be somewhere around €7.5 billion. Of course, with that kind of money coming in, Europe is also enticing the best footballers in the world. The continent currently has the 10 best paid soccer players.
Of course, with this also means sponsorship and so there’s a lot of rumours out there about what sponsors teams will be courting and signing for the 2016 through 2017 season. There is certainly enough talent on the table with all of the champion’s league in order to entice some of the best sponsors in the world. For example, Real Madrid is rumoured to be making a deal with binary trading powerhouse Binary Uno. No word yet on what other teams are doing or how much money is involved but there is still a lot of time before things officially kick off.