Last night, in his usual Thursday night radio slot on Off-the-Ball, John Giles drew attention to the importance of transfer spending for the broadcasters. Giles noted that the broadcasters got a form of indirect kick-back from their expenditure on broadcast rights. The money from broadcast rights allowed the Premier League clubs buy the better players and this, in turn, make the product the broadcasters deliver more attractive. The link between the broadcasters and the Premier League helps both. (Of course, one could argue that Pay-TV customers would have still seen Pogba even if he had stayed in Juventus or he had gone to Real Madrid.)
The FT article makes a reference to the Deloitte Football Money League. A previous post here illustrated the point. What is noteworthy is that Manchester United are poised to move to the top of the DFML despite three years of underperformance on the field. While there is a link between on-field and off-field performances, there is a strategy that larger clubs can follow in an effort to minimise the damage done by short-term downturns in sporting performance. The strategy is to buy assets that generate commercial revenue that is less linked to performance. Buy celebrity footballers. The Economist magazine drew attention to this when Real Madrid bought David Beckham over a decade ago (here). Many are now speculating that Manchester United are following a similar model with their 2016 signings (here).
Whether or not Manchester United are following a Galacticos business model, or a blockbuster strategy, it is clear that the Premier League and the broadcasters are in this together. Increases in broadcasting rights paid to the Premier League is funding player purchases. These players are then generating greater interest in the product delivered by the broadcasters. On the surface it looks like a win-win situation.