Scudamore: Why international growth is important for the EPL
International TV revenue, distributed evenly among all EPL clubs, narrows the gap between them
Local telco Singtel reportedly paid US$255m ($347m) in 2012 to clinch the EPL's local broadcast rights for the following three seasons.
With fans from all around the world swearing allegiance to clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, the Barclays Premier League is undoubtedly the biggest and most popular, club competition in world football.
Starting today, local fans will get a "live" experience of the action as the Barclays Asia Trophy tournament kicks off with a double header featuring Everton taking on Stoke and Arsenal facing a Singapore Selection at the National Stadium.
It is the first time the tournament has hit these shores although the event has enjoyed great success in recent times in Malaysia, Thailand, China and Hong Kong.
Responding to a query by The New Paper, the EPL's chief executive Richard Scudamore stressed how important continued international growth is for the Premier League.
"Interestingly, the more successful we are internationally, the narrower the gap becomes (between the teams in the league)," he said.
"We distribute our UK television rights in a way where the bigger clubs get the most according to where they finish on the table, whereas internationally, whatever money we get from television rights gets divided evenly.
"Whether it's Everton, Stoke or Arsenal, they all get the same money, so that's one of the reasons why it's strategically so important that our international rights continue to enjoy great success.
"It narrows the gap between the richest clubs and the poorer clubs, which is why we think the league's becoming more competitive.
"Last season, Burnley managed to beat Manchester City and drew with them, they went to Stamford Bridge and drew (with Chelsea)."
There has been some controversy over the business of TV rights in Singapore, with the cost for the Premier League consistently becoming more expensive, both for telcos and the Singapore fan.
When Singtel secured the rights in 2012, the cheapest EPL pay TV package here jumped from $34.90 to $59.90.
While he was sympathetic, Scudamore asserted that it was an issue beyond the Premier League's control.
"I do understand the issue here but we can't possibly interfere in over 200 countries by effectively having any influence in the actual retail price (to watch the Premier League)," the 55-year-old explained.
"In these countries, whoever's bought the rights has done that so they have the ability to market those rights in the way it works for them.
"The Premier League would never get involved in the resale price of its offerings around the world.
"Without getting too technical, in a converged media world, it isn't just Premier League rights these companies are selling you but a bundle of multiple services, or even multiple television channels.
"Therefore, we're only a part of that so we couldn't possibly be the people who determine that."
The Premier League chief expressed much pleasure at being able to contribute to the country's 50th birthday celebrations by bringing the quadrangular to Singapore.
Scudamore added: "We've had great experience with the tournament wherever we've been - Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Beijing and Hong Kong a few times - and we obviously looked at Singapore.
"To be candid, we didn't think (back then) it had the stadium to do the event particular justice.
"But then there was a fantastic new stadium and we've been tracking that progress in the last three to four years, and we got to a point two years ago when it was really happening on a big scale and that's when we began negotiations early to come here.
"In the end, a great stadium, the huge fan base and the 50th birthday celebration… all these things came together to make Singapore an ideal choice."
BY THE NUMBERS
$347m - Local telco Singtel reportedly paid US$255m ($347m) in 2012 to clinch the EPL’s local broadcast rights for the following three seasons.