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Real, Barca Secure Massive TV Deals

Real Madrid is on the cusp of signing a massive TV deal that will bring the club $1 billion over the next seven years, President Ramon Calderon announced Thursday. While the contract for domestic games isn't worth as much per year as rival Barcelona's is-the Catalans will receive $154 million per season in domestic TV revenue for five seasons versus Real's $146.5 million for seven seasons-the deal represents "the most important contract in the history of world sport," according to Calderon. These deals all but guarantee that Real Madrid and Barcelona will continue to dominate the business of soccer in Spain, because Spain's other clubs don't have the power to negotiate TV deals of the same stature. The new deals enshrine Barca and Real as the top-earning clubs in Europe for domestic TV revenue. The Spanish giants are followed by Italy's AC Milan, whose deal nets it $128.2 million per season, and then English clubs Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal, which each earn about $55 million. Real and Barca are able to secure such lucrative deals because Spanish clubs are allowed to negotiate individual deals with broadcasters. That's not the case in England, where the English Premier League teams negotiate deals collectively, though earnings vary slightly depending on a team's finishing position and the number of games that are shown live. The huge discrepancy in Spain and Italy-where big clubs can outstrip smaller clubs by as much as 25-1 in TV revenue-comes as the result of these individual deals.

Read the whole story at The Independent »

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