The Football League has awarded the rights to develop an internet portal for its 72 member clubs to cable telephone and communications company, NTL. Under the terms of the deal, NTL will pay rights fees of up to £65 million over five years, with all participating clubs sharing in the profits of the joint venture.
The portal, which will act as a central register or directory for football fans wishing to access their teams' websites, is currently under development and will be launched next year.
Commenting on the project, Brian Phillpotts, commercial director of the Football League, says, "The internet provides the Football League with a fantastic opportunity to interact with its truly loyal and sizeable audience - the fans. This deal will provide them with unrivalled content and e-commerce opportunities via one portal."
Barclay Knapp, chief executive officer of NTL, believes the venture has the potential to attract the interest of some