Who owns Gallagher Premiership Rugby?

The Gallagher Premiership is the wealthiest rugby division in England. A lot of people may think that it is the RFU that owns the league, but this is not the case. 

Who owns Gallagher Premiership Rugby? The Premiership teams all own an equal share of 73% of the Gallagher Premiership, with American investment firm CVC owning the other 27% of the league. In 2018 CVC bought a 27% stake in the Gallagher Premiership, paying around $200 million for a slice of the league; they now earn 27% of the revenue that the league makes every season. At the time of this investment, the Premiership needed an influx of cash which is why they sold 27% of the league. 

The Gallagher Premiership was set up to be the top flight of English Rugby. Due to that, the teams involved all have a share of the revenues that the league produces. All of the teams that are currently in the Premiership own an equal share of the league. These are known as P shares. 

This is because the league wanted to split earnings fairly between each team and it used to be that the teams owned the entire league. However, this is not the case anymore. That is because in 2018, American investment company CVC bought a 27% stake in the Gallagher Premiership Rugby. 

CVC had to pay around $200 million for this stake in the league, but it means they are now entitled to 27% of the revenue that the league makes every season. At the time of this investment, the Premiership needed an influx of cash which is why they sold 27% of the league. 

CVC is a huge company, with total assets of around £133 billion, also being known as the previous owners of Formula One. They also own the IPL team Gujarat Titans. The Premiership teams do have their own holding company for the shares within the league. 

Premiership Rugby is actually owned and operated by Premiership Rugby Limited, which acts as the holding company for the league. 

Premiership Rugby Limited 

Some people may have seen the phrase Premiership Rugby Limited associated with the Gallagher Premiership. That is because Premiership Rugby Limited is the company which owns the Gallagher Premiership. However, the real owners of the league are the parties which own Premiership Rugby Limited. 

The clubs in the Gallagher Premiership all own an equal share of 73% of Premiership Rugby Limited, with the other 27% being owned by US investment firm CVC. CVC bought that stake in Premiership Rugby Limited in 2018, thanks to a $200 million investment into the Gallagher Premiership and its teams. 

Who are Gallagher sponsors of Premiership Rugby? 

Despite being part of the name of Premiership Rugby, a lot of people are not aware of who Gallagher really are, with some rugby fans not realising the name of the league is due to a sponsorship deal with insurance company Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. 

Having been founded in 1927, Gallagher is an American global insurance and risk management company who are based in Illinois. While the company is in the US, they have operations around the world including South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. The company has been successful in the UK since 2010. 

They wanted to expand further into the UK by getting their name out as much as possible. Gallagher was first announced as the title partner of Premiership Rugby from the 2018/19 season onwards. In 2021, the two announced a new multi-year partnership, meaning Premiership Rugby will continue to be called the Gallagher Premiership for the foreseeable future. 

How much do BT pay for Premiership Rugby? 

BT Sport are the current TV partner of Premiership Rugby. This was not a cheap move for the channel to purchase the rights to show Premiership Rugby. The estimated value of that deal shows how expensive it was for BT Sport to hold onto the rights to show Premiership Rugby games. 

It is estimated that BT Sport currently pays around £40 million per season. This is because BT Sport signed a deal with the Premiership to show games until the end of the 2023/24 season. This deal is thought to be worth around £40 million every year, which is a lot of money. 

However, this is not very much compared to how much money football leagues are being paid for their broadcasting rights. BT Sport came close to losing the rights to the league when they could not initially agree a deal with Premiership Rugby Limited, the holding company of the Gallagher Premiership. 

However, they were able to agree on a new deal in December 2020 which runs until the end of the 2023/24 season. 

Is Premiership Rugby staying on BT Sport? 

BT Sport has been the broadcast provider for the Gallagher Premiership since the 2013/14 season when they first bought the rights to show Premiership games. However, there have been rumours about whether the channel will continue to show Premiership games in the future. 

Until at least the end of the 2023/24 Premiership season. That is because the end of the 2023/24 season is when BT Sport’s current deal with the Premiership expires. At the moment there has not been any announcement of any new deal between BT Sport and the Premiership. 

However, there has also not been any deal that says that BT Sport will not continue to show the Premiership. Premiership Rugby looks like it will be staying on BT Sport for the foreseeable future. 

At the start of the 2023/24 season, it may not seem like Premiership Rugby will continue on BT Sport. That is because the channel is rebranding, being known as TNT Sport from the start of the 2023/24 season. That is due to the merger between BT Group and Warner Bros. So Premiership Rugby will stay on BT Sport, just under a different name. 

Who is the CEO of Premiership Rugby? 

Simon Massie-Taylor is the current CEO of Premiership Rugby. He was announced as the Chief Executive Officer of the Premiership in January 2022. Having started out as an assistant manager with KPMG, he moved into sport when he became Commercial Manager for the London Organising Committee Of The Olympic & Paralympic Games. 

He moved into rugby in 2016, becoming the Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer for England Rugby for six years. Having been an RFU board member for six years, Massie-Taylor understands the British game and hopes to develop Premiership Rugby to a new level. 

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