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NTL Contract Proposal
By: Rob Sedgwick
TROUBLED Telecoms company NTL have approached the Football League with a proposal to re-negotiate the contract to run the bulk of the 72 league club's official sites.
NTL subsidiary Premium TV, who run the web sites, had agreed to pay £65m to the football clubs (of which £30m has already been paid out), in return for the Internet rights, and the advertisement revenue a large potential audience of fanatical football fans could, in theory, deliver.
Premium TV is proposing that the remaining Â£35million due to the league is written off in return for 80% of any profits in the remaining three years of the contract. The clubs currently gain 50% of any profits, and the Internet revenue is believed to provide Grimsby Town in the region of £150,000 per season.
Despite the development Football League Chief Executive David Burns was still officially upbeat about the future of the venture, commenting: "Both parties still hold a shared aim of delivering a stable and prosperous long-term future for their Internet joint venture.
"However, with the downturn in the technology, media and telecommunications market and with NTL undergoing a financial restructuring process via chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it is sensible that we have these discussions now to establish the viability of this ground-breaking twenty year venture so that it can fully deliver on its future commercial potential."
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