Windfall beckons as FAM signs billion ringgit TV rights deal

In a significant move that could herald a new era of televised domestic football in Southeast Asia, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) announced a rich new television rights deal with renowned international media rights partners, Media Partners & Silva (MP & Silva), on Monday.

Worth RM1.26 billion (S$470 million; £233 million) over a 15-year period commencing from 2016, the agreement will be signed by both parties this Friday and represents a major upgrade from FAM’s previous commercial broadcasting deal worth RM120 million (S$45m, £22m) over a four-year period from 2011 to 2014.

The partnership signifies the first steps of privatisation of the Malaysian professional leagues as the subsidiary holdings, the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP), will be established for the day-to-day administration of local club football at a league-wide level.

FMLLP will be helmed by FAM President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, with MP & Silva acting as global commercial and broadcast advisors. In the meantime, the sponsorship announcement for the 2015 season will also be revealed on Friday.

According to local English daily The Star, the financial payout will be broken into four different phases. The first six years will see FAM receive RM70m million (S$26m, £12m) per year from their partners.

The basic breakdown will see FAM partake 40 percent of the windfall, with the clubs receiving 30 percent and the remainder for administration and refereeing.

The agreement will be reviewed after this first phase, and should it be continued, FAM will receive a further RM85 million (S$31m, £15m) per year from 2022 to 2024, RM95 million (S$35m, £17.5m) per year from 2025 to 2027 and RM103million (S$38m, £19m) from 2028 to 2030.

Further reviews of the partnership will also take place once every three years in the next phase of the deal. Singaporean representatives LionsXII could be in for a substantial windfall should they extend their involvement in the Malaysian leagues after 2015.

Photo: Football Association of Malaysia