THE Football League have confirmed they are in talks about boosting Cardiff City’s television profile in Malaysia.
The Bluebirds are understood to be in discussions with league officials over a ground-breaking deal that would see Championship games involving Malky Mackay’s men beamed live to south-east Asia.
The proposals would not see the club rake in extra cash from having fixtures available to broadcasters in Malaysia and neighbouring countries, the homeland of club owner Vincent Tan.
Instead, it is a bold attempt to boost the club’s profile overseas as part of the first signs of the business strategy behind controversial re-branding plans.
Fans have been split over the decision by Tan to ditch the club’s traditional blue colours and Bluebird badge for red and a dragon, partly over its cultural significance in Asia.
Questions have been raised over the financial acumen behind such a move given Cardiff’s relative low-standing overseas compared to Premier League clubs, regardless of their tie-ins with Malaysia through billionaire Tan.
But the plans – if successful – would enable the club to make more of sponsorship and marketing opportunities by reaching a greater TV audience in Asia. Cardiff are remaining tight-lipped on the details with the deal not yet signed and sealed.
But the Football League has confirmed they are in talks to see if they can push through the innovative plans, admitting: “We are currently discussing the issue with our international broadcast partners.”
The plans are understood to be based on Cardiff arranging the filming of their games to be screened live overseas, outside of the normal Sky and BBC based productions.
It would form an additional feature to the package sold to varying overseas markets – featuring 96 countries outside of the UK including Malaysia – by the Football League’s global sports marketing partners, Pitch.
Any extra revenue would not go to Cardiff, but be divided among the Football League clubs as per the current collective bargaining agreement where all clubs receive a split of a central cash pot.
It is understood there is no plan to abandon that agreement – in the first of a five-year deal – and there is no desire to undermine it through Cardiff’s proposals.
But both the league and Cardiff are understood to be keen on the thought of boosting the profile of the club and the league as whole.
In turn, Cardiff would theoretically be in a stronger position to negotiate future sponsorship – shirt and pitchside – deals as well as further marketing knock-ons to give strained income streams a much needed boost.
The club have admitted that, despite the proposed investment package from owner Tan as part of the re-branding, there is a clear need to generate new revenue to stem losses the club have admitted total around £1m a month.
Furthermore, the club are aware that new money-making avenues must be explored regardless of Tan’s support with Financial Fair Play measures looming.