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England may not win the World Cup starting next week, but the country's top soccer league is already the world champion at making money.
The English Premier League brought in a record $4.23 billion in revenue in the 2012-13 season, leading the soccer world, according to an annual review by consultants Deloitte. Revenues generated by the 20 clubs swelled by $276 million from the previous season, with over 60 percent of the growth driven by current champion Manchester City and two American-owned teams, Manchester United and Liverpool.
"Once again the global appeal of the Premier League has continued to drive commercial revenue growth, particularly at the highest ranked Premier League clubs," said Deloitte sports business group partner Dan Jones.
He added that the trend is expected to continue, with the Premier League clubs' revenue likely to increase by 30 percent to $5.4 billion in the 2013-14 season just completed. The growth will be partly driven by the revenue from the first season of the Premier League's new broadcast deals that include NBC, he said.
According to Deloitte, the 7-percent increase in Premier League revenue is the largest absolute growth of any of the "big five" European leagues. German clubs generated $2.85 billion, while those in Spain reaped $2.68 billion, Italy's clubs garnered $2.35 billion and French clubs saw revenues of $1.84 billion.
The majority of the Premier League revenue's growth arose from commercial sources, with the two Manchester clubs accounting for over half of the league's commercial revenue increase. United won the title in 2012-13 and City were the latest champion.
By comparison, Major League Baseball brought in more than $8 billion in gross revenue last season, according to Forbes. But MLB has 30 clubs, compared to the Premier League's 20.
- The Associated Press.