The producers of the hit TV show Ted Lasso have struck a licensing deal with the Premier League that would allow the show to use actual club names, crests and kits.
The deal was first reported on Monday, Oct. 4, by The Athletic. It’s believed the deal is worth £500,000 ($680,000 US) and would also allow the show to use archival footage from the league and even the Premier League trophy.
Ted Lasso, currently airing its second season on Apple TV+, follows an American college football coach who is hired to lead AFC Richmond, a fictional soccer team in England. The show is based on a character star Jason Sudeikis developed for a series of NBC Sports promos when the network acquired the U.S. television rights for the Premier League in 2013.
At the 2021 Emmy Awards, the show was nominated 20 times and won four awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series. This success may have helped with the licensing deal; Bleacher Report and The Athletic point out that “previously skeptical Premier League executives have grown to love the show’s folksy charm.”
At various points in the show’s run, AFC Richmond played high-profile English clubs like Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace (whose Selhurst Park stadium stands in for Richmond’s home ground) and Manchester City, using their actual crests and kits. It’s likely the show’s producers struck deals with the individual clubs for those appearances, while the new deal covers the entire league.
Producers may not have much time to make use of the license, though. Sudeikis has said in interviews that he had only ever planned for Ted Lasso to run for three seasons.
The Season 2 finale will be released this Friday (Oct. 8).
Feature photo courtesy Apple