EA to pay $588 million for Premier League rights

Image: EA Sports

To hell with programming and gameplay, sports games live and die by their licensing. That’s why Madden could crush the NFL2Kand that’s why EA FIFA (now known as EA Sports FC) was able to grind Konami PES into dust. Not because they’re better, but because they’re paid to be the only games that feature the real teams you want to see play in the leagues you want them to.

Therefore, it should not surprise anyone that the sums of money needed to secure these rights approach astronomical levels. And although we are not often involved in accurate the numbers involved – video game publishers are very secretive – a leak from the sports side of things has given us an idea of ​​how much EA is paying for some of its football rights, and [whistles].

Sky reports that “20 Premier League clubs were informed at a meeting on Friday that a new six-year partnership with EA Sports worth around £488m is nearing completion.” If everything is completed on these terms, it will amount to about US$588 million. So what does EA get for these costs? Here’s how the publisher describes it on FIFA 23 Web site:

EA SPORTS FIFA 23 is the only place where you can experience the rivalry, energy and excitement of the world’s most popular league. Play as all 20 Premier League clubs with their 2022/23 kits and logos, authentic broadcasts, commentary and pre-match choreography making it the most authentic representation of the league; exclusive to FIFA 23 players.

Like the sky too report, this is estimated to be “more than double the existing two-party deal”. This a lot of money, especially when you consider that this is just one of dozens licensing deals that EA must sign for the series. So it should be noted that $588 million is not only for the rights to the Premier League; it also allows EA to remain one of the major “partners” of the competition, a sponsorship arrangement that sees EA Sports branding appear on everything from referee uniforms to the Premier League’s Player of the Month award.

If you’re wondering how the hell EA can afford such amounts, please note that when the publisher last released financial results for Ultimate Team digital card sales.– which exist in Madden also, but which are globally dominated by FIFA fans – they earned $1.6 billion.

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