Edited by John Goddard and Peter Sloane
Chapter 5: The collection and distribution of media rights in a win-maximization league
In all US major leagues, as well as in most national football leagues in Europe, the market of media rights is monopolized by the league, and the media revenues are distributed in one way or another among all clubs. In only a few countries, like Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy until a few years ago, can the football clubs individually sell the media rights of their home games. In the White Paper on Sports (2007) of the European Commission, it is stated that: ‘While joint selling of media rights raises competition concerns, the Commission has accepted it under certain conditions. Collective selling can be important for the distribution of income and can be a tool for achieving greater solidarity within sports.’ In my opinion, this is a questionable quote. If the joint selling of media rights raises competition concerns, it should be banned, because collective selling is not important for the distribution of income, nor is it the best tool for achieving greater solidarity within sports. If the broadcast rights of a league championship are assigned to just one television channel, it creates another monopoly in the downstream market for televised sports. This way, the monopolization of the market for media rights causes a welfare loss because television spectators pay too high a price for watching a limited supply of televised games (see Noll, 1999).
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