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The English Premier League remained the highest revenue-generating soccer league in the world during the 2014-15 season, according to a new annual industry report on Thursday, in what proved to be a strong year for European soccer clubs.
The professional league, home to famous players including Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur and Mesut Ozil of Arsenal, reaped total revenues of 4.4 billion euros ($4.9 billion), according to data from audit firm Deloitte. That was despite the league shelling out a record $1.6 billion on acquiring new players.
Going forward, the league will likely hold onto its title due lucrative broadcasting deals.
"The 2016/17 season will see the start of a new three-year cycle of broadcast rights for the Premier League, delivering significant revenue increases across the league and wider English football pyramid," Deloitte said.
Germany's Bundesliga followed in second place, with revenues of 2.4 billion euros.
"A slight increase in attendances saw the Bundesliga record the highest average level in world football, at almost 42,700 people per game and a stadium utilization of around 90 percent. However, this was not as high as the Premier League's utilization of 96 percent."
In third place was Spain's La Liga, with 2.1 billion euros, but Deloitte expects La Liga has overtaken the Bundesliga in 2015/16, the season that's just finished.
Meanwhile, Italy's Serie A clubs notched a 5 percent increase in total revenue to 1.8 billion euros, followed by 1.4 billion euros for France's Ligue 1.
Overall, 2014-15 saw the combined intake of European soccer clubs hit 22 billion euros, above the 20 billion euros in the previous season.
The commercial success of the "big five" leagues—Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League and Serie A—is set to take the market even higher.
"With new broadcast deal cycles due to start in each of the big five leagues in the next two seasons, the European football market is likely to surpass 25 billion euros in the 2016/17 season," said Dan Jones, partner at Deloitte's sports business group.
Cumulative revenues of the "big five" represented 54 percent, or 12 billion euros of Europe's total football market, with broadcast representing 48 percent of the "big five's" total intake, Deloitte said.
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