Troubled NTL has terminated its shirt sponsorship deal with Newcastle United Football Club a season early, leaving the Premier League club looking for a sponsor.
The deal, which is in its third year, was due to run until the end of next season. NTL has decided to exercise an option in the contract and terminate the arrangement at the end of this season.
An NTL spokeswoman says: “Our sponsorship of Newcastle has more than exceeded our expectations.” She denies that the decision is a cost-cutting measure.
Premium TV, a wholly owned subsidiary of NTL, is selling the sponsorship in what is recognised as a weak football market. However, the company is confident that it can secure a good price. The package includes branding on all club shirts, plus other kit and media backdrops, as well as the use of the club’s logo for promotional purposes.
NTL, through Premium TV, has stakes in several football clubs, including Aston Villa and Middlesbrough. However, the cable television company has been reducing its presence in football as it tries to cut its debt. In July, the company revealed that it would not be renewing &£13m shirt deals with Scotland’s top clubs, Glasgow Rangers and Celtic.