Pay-per-view for £14.95 per game

by   |   11/10/2020  37 Comments  [Jump to last]

There is widespread anger at plans to charge football fans in the UK £14.95 to watch Premier League matches they have been prevented from attending in person.

Fans have reacted angrily after it was confirmed on Friday that 19 out of 20 Premier League clubs voted to ditch the scheme that was in place for the final nine matches of last season and the first four of the current one, where matches not already included in broadcasters domestic schedules were provided free or on existing paid subscription channels.

Instead, fixtures not already chosen for live coverage will be available for fans on a pay-per-view basis at a cost of £14.95 per match.

As it could be another six months before fans can safely return to stadiums, they will now likely have to pay between £150 and £300 or more over the course of the season to legally watch games live, depending on how many games are selected by Sky, BT and Amazon.

There is also a significant risk that the high cost will encourage fans to club together and watch games in groups, thus risking the transmission of infection in any case. It will also encourage fans to seek illegal streams to avoid payment.

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Reader Comments (37)

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Michael Barrett
1 Posted 09/10/2020 at 18:13:09
How many on here will pay the £14.95 for Everton's remaining games that are NOT on Sky or BT Sport???
Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 11/10/2020 at 10:57:32
Seems they've looked at what works for boxing (I assume) and gone for what feels like a pretty high fee for each game.

It's stating the obvious saying a lower fee of £5.99 would be much more reasonable, but I wonder if they even care that much about price flexibility or hitting some preconceived income target?

Again, obviously for the clubs, this potentially supplements the income lost from not having fans at the games, and from that perspective, £14.95 must be only a fraction of what the average fan would pay to attend the games. But, considering the much larger potential audience is no longer limited by ground capacity, the income per club could go a long way to (or beyond!) making up the current shortfall.

And if the Premier League clubs are doing something to support the much more vulnerable EFL clubs, than perhaps we can think of it as doing our part to support and maintain not just the club we love but also the less fortunate ones further down the pyramid.

The disparity comes in the frequency that lesser clubs are featured in the selected live games: the fans of these clubs will end up paying more than the richer but more popular clubs... so in that sense it may even up the current income disparities across the Premier League. (I'm assuming that the bulk of the individual match fee is split between the competing clubs – is that the case?)

Everton fans with subscriptions have been 'lucky' so far with all games through next weekend picked by Sky, BT or Amazon for live coverage, Part of this may be down to us currently riding high at the top of the Premier League, and maybe we will benefit from that popularity going forward?

Frank Key
3 Posted 11/10/2020 at 11:31:31
This will encourage people to congregate in large numbers. For example, 7 young lads throw 2 quid in each to watch it.
Brent Stephens
4 Posted 11/10/2020 at 12:00:11
I pay a reduced rate for my season ticket as I'm a chronologically-advanced fan. The refund I get per Goodison game which I can't attend is a bit more than the £14.95 PPV being introduced (wait for some back-tracking on this?!). So I tell she who must be obeyed that I'm saving her money.

But it does smell of the EPL looking after itself and sod the other leagues and sod the fans.

Dennis Stevens
5 Posted 11/10/2020 at 13:05:43
If they want supporters to buy into this idea, then they need to be transparent as to how they arrived at the figure being charged & a breakdown of where the money is going to.
Bill Watson
6 Posted 11/10/2020 at 13:14:21
I'm lucky enough to still be fit enough to attend games home and away but I appreciate that, for many, subscription TV is the only way they can see the Blues (pre Covid-19).

I don't have any sort of subscription and don't intend to start so I'll continue listening to games on the radio (or hook up to any pirate feeds available).

Geoff Lambert
7 Posted 11/10/2020 at 13:19:37
More people need to get IPTV. It's not perfect all the time but you get to see most matches in decent quality.
Kevin Prytherch
8 Posted 11/10/2020 at 13:34:58
In all fairness, they are games that you wouldn’t normally be able to view anyway without going to the match, so it’s less than a match ticket. I think they should do a bulk discount though - say 5 games for £50 to reflect that season tickets (bulk discount) work out cheaper per game.

The problem comes when clubs are still charging retainers / deposits for season tickets - or are being slow to reimburse season ticket holders when the money saved on a season ticket should cover the cost of these matches.

Terence Leong
9 Posted 11/10/2020 at 13:50:55
It's ultimately a demand and supply scenario. If fans decide that they can 'live without' watching the games live, and do with highlights on YouTube, then the market forces will re-adjust itself.

I don't think any amount of protest or anger from fans will cause the broadcast companies any loss of sleep. The only thing that will cause them to re-adjust, is when fans vote with their money.

Alan Rodgers
10 Posted 11/10/2020 at 14:14:51
I'm an ST and also have BT Sport and Sky so I'm already forking out quite a bit. Even so, I wouldn't baulk at paying up to £10 to watch an away game which otherwise wouldn't be broadcast.

However £15 is a bit steep for one person but you could invite one or two mates round and split the cost. Or maybe Sky are just testing the water and will eventually put every game on PPV.

Frank Crewe
11 Posted 11/10/2020 at 14:21:35
Who is going to pay £14.95 to watch a game that doesn't involve the team they support? Just catch the highlights on Youtube or MotD for free if you are that interested.

Not to mention as the season progresses and it becomes obvious your club isn't going anywhere beyond midtable fans won't even pay to see their own club either. The law of diminishing returns. Spend £15 quid on a dead rubber or spend it on something useful.

John Pierce
12 Posted 11/10/2020 at 14:28:59
This is mental, utter madness. If this is approved it will undoubtedly lead to more piracy as many reject the idea. It will also lead to people gathering in one spot to watch the game to save money. That maybe a lesser concern in the normal run of things but in trying to stem COVID it’s actually quite serious point.

Additional matches that are charged could be targeted to get bigger audiences. Your super Sunday match instead of being Everton v Arsenal will be West Ham v Sheffield United. Forcing more popular clubs fans to pay for their matches.

This is where the thin end of the wedge is, once clubs find out who people will pay to watch this forms a solid base to show only those matches, then form a super league with the 12 most popular teams. Or once it’s clear who fans will pay to watch those clubs leverage that against the TV money and logical say they deserve a bigger cut, cementing their status at the top.

It’s starts to look like a franchise style league with a closed shop entry.

We best hurry up and win the league this year because it’s going all to pot.

John Pierce
13 Posted 11/10/2020 at 15:29:53
This is mental, utter madness. If this is approved, it will undoubtedly lead to more piracy as many reject the idea. It will also lead to people gathering in one spot to watch the game to save money. That may be a lesser concern in the normal run of things but, in trying to stem Covid, it's actually a quite serious point.

Additional matches that are charged could be targeted to get bigger audiences. Your Super Sunday match, instead of being Everton vs Arsenal will be West Ham vs Sheffield United. Forcing more popular clubs fans to pay for their matches.

This is where the thin end of the wedge is, once clubs find out who people will pay to watch this forms a solid base to show only those matches, then form a super league with the 12 most popular teams. Or once it's clear who fans will pay to watch, those clubs leverage that against the TV money and logical say they deserve a bigger cut, cementing their status at the top.

It's starting to look like a franchise-style league with a closed shop entry.

We best hurry up and win the league this season because it's going all to pot.

Jack Convery
14 Posted 11/10/2020 at 16:43:33
£10k fine for watching a footie game - not me. Some RS will let the bizzies know where blue noses are gathered to watch the game. Pity the fans whose team is not shown much live on Sky or BT - it would cost them a fortune. Sky used the freeview Pick channel at the end of last season and must have raked in an awful lot from the adverts. Games not chosen for live broadcast should be shown free on freeview Pick / BBC / ITV 4 / Quest etc. The advertising revenues will pay for it and a share to the clubs involved. This is just a racketeering money grab yet again from the EPL.

The health issues it will cause with Covid spreading would be catastrophic. Shame on you EPL.

Larry O'Hara
15 Posted 11/10/2020 at 16:49:56
If you think this is bad, what about RS/Man U proposals to shrink Premier League and give themselves more power? Highly disturbing
Bill Watson
16 Posted 11/10/2020 at 19:38:37
Larry #14

It's a blatant power grab that's being presented now because they know many EFL clubs are desperate for money.

Until shortly before the advent of the Premier League, football was much fairer and structured so smaller clubs benefited, financially, from playing big clubs away from home in that they got 25% of League gate receipts and 33% in the earlier rounds of the FA Cup

Now a much bigger proportion of the cash comes from the likes of Sky and the so called 'big clubs' have always been trying to grab a larger slice of that.

I'm not in the least surprised that these proposals have been floated by two clubs which are virtually little more than American franchises and whose owners have little, or no, concept of the strong community identity most of our clubs have.

Laurie Hartley
17 Posted 11/10/2020 at 22:17:51
The price looks over the top to me. Here in Australia Optus Sport have the Premier League rights.

I pay $14.99 per month through iTunes for my subscription. That's about £8.25 at the current exchange rate.

I can watch any Pemier League game on demand (which I think means live) and most of them as recordings.

I watch the games on an iPad (which is far better than I thought it would be) but I think you can also get it through a Fetch TV box.

Optus Sport Premier League

Ralph Basnett
18 Posted 12/10/2020 at 07:49:04
Frank (3), 7 lads clubbing together, not only risk getting Covid-19 but they also won't see the game as it's £14.95. HaHa!!
Gary Willock
19 Posted 12/10/2020 at 08:07:09
Am I missing something here, but:

1) The non-televised games would not normally be televised at all.

2) Ergo, the only way to watch them would have been to go the game.

3) The price of watching them on PPV is much cheaper than going the game (albeit no substitute at all really). 50% of my season ticket refund will pay for every game, and the other 50% can go to EitC.

Not sure what the issue is?

Robert Tressell
20 Posted 12/10/2020 at 08:37:27
It's just a way to ease the pain of reduced gate receipts, isn't it? In terms of cost it's about the same as a cinema ticket these days for the same circa 2 hours entertainment.

Suits me because I refuse to get Sky. But galling for those who shell out on Sky to have to pay yet more just to watch footie on TV.

Mike Doyle
21 Posted 12/10/2020 at 09:04:28
I think Robert [#20] is about right on the price comparison with a cinema ticket. It's also similar to some of the pay-per-view events on Sky et al.

As a blue who lives in London and struggles to get to more than a couple of live games each season, I've long advocated the opportunity for a pay-per-view option.

I think the price is a bit high – then again, I can't believe the price of a pint in a pub these days (£5+ down here!). In the late 1970s you could get 4 pints of Higsons in the Childwall 5 Ways – and get change from a pound note!

Derek Thomas
22 Posted 12/10/2020 at 11:24:03
This is a short-sighted. When you buy a season-long package, you pay an amount, monthly or in one lump, but you're in it for the season, like it or not – poor games and abysmal.

What you have with this is nothing more than 'cash at the gate', 2020 internet style.

Check in your record books, look at attendances. Get knocked out of a cup, draw a couple... the weekend before Christmas was noted for a drop in attendances, even bad weather, attendances drop... where's your £14.95s then?

As said before, people vote with their wallet. I hope it comes back to bite the instigators in the bum good style... Time will tell.

Fran Mitchell
23 Posted 12/10/2020 at 11:27:54
The price is too steep. £5-6 would be acceptable.

You can't compare to a cinema ticket, as going the cinema is a greater experience. Also involved in the fee is the cost of running, ie, staff. If you want to compare, compare to the average film rental on Amazon or such, usually about £5.

Can't compare to 'premium' one-off events like Boxing because, well football is every week, not a one-off event.

At £15 a match, people will go to pirate streams.

Just like years ago, everyone would download films and series instead of paying for Sky's premium packages and pay-per-views. As soon as reasonable priced alternatives came, people stopped illegal downloads.

Laurie Hartley
24 Posted 12/10/2020 at 12:21:19
It is very interesting to hear what people think might be a fair price to watch a Premier League game on line.

Fran @ 26 seems to be the lowest at £5-6. That is more than double what I pay each week (see my post @ 17) to be able to watch a game live and most of the other Premier League games on a recording.

In addition to that, I can watch Uefa games and internationals. This got me thinking that perhaps Optus were “too cheap”. But saying that about any huge telecommunications organisation is an oxymoron, isn't it?

So I decided to dig a bit deeper and discovered that, as of August last year, their subscriptions for this service had risen to 700,000!

Optus premier league streaming

That is round about AUD$10.5 million per month or AUD$126 Million (£70 million) per year.

The big benefit for Optus appears to be that it helps them retain their mobile phone and internet subscriptions – customer retention.

He probably doesn't have to worry too much about customer retention but I'm sure the owner of the telecommunications company MegaFon, which has 62 million subscribers in Russia, would be interested to know about this... but, then again, he probably already does.

Mike Doyle
25 Posted 12/10/2020 at 13:02:17
Fran (23) I feel somewhere in the £5-10 range would be about right.

As a London-based blue, the only PL games I can get to are those where I can wangle an invite. Virtually all PL games sell out so non-season ticket holders face quite a challenge seeing a PL game live.

Having Sky Sport wouldn’t help as my interest lies in watching Everton games - not multiple Man U and RS games.

My brother - who lives in Colombia - can watch all Everton games live for a modest fee. It seems archaic that us here in the UK have such little choice.

Derek Thomas
26 Posted 12/10/2020 at 13:24:31
Also; there'll be an Uber style 'Price Surge' if you win a couple on the run. Our first game would've been your standard fee, then rising. Top of the League Derby clash?? £25? £30?
Bill Gall
27 Posted 12/10/2020 at 13:48:23
I am not sure how my provider will work. I live in Canada and subscribe to DAZN who signed with the premier for exclusive rights to the premier league for 3 yrs starting last season. At the moment I have received a chance to watch every premier league match but I only got it to watch Everton,, but after their game is over if I want I can watch any other premier league game that is on.
The fee I pay is $I50 a year that works out to about $12/ 50 a month or $3 dollars a week. ( not sure of the exchange rate ).
This APP can be purchased for $20 a month and can be cancelled at any time.
The fee that Skye are asking for is supposed to assist the clubs who are loosing monies from the virus. As Dazn already have an agreement with the premier I am hoping nothing changes, but understanding the way Skye Sports operate this is just another way for them not to loose money.
Sam Hoare
28 Posted 12/10/2020 at 16:23:57
Seems too much to me. If a really high quality coverage could be got for between £7-10 (perhaps depending on the glamour of the particular match up) then I could imagine paying it on occassion to watch Everton. Especially at the moment! But £15 is more than I pay to go to the cinema or to buy a new film on itune/amazon that I may go on to watch a few times.
Eric Myles
29 Posted 12/10/2020 at 16:58:44
Gary #29, or why not go to the pub to watch the game?
Eric Myles
30 Posted 12/10/2020 at 17:04:37
Mike #25, like your brother, I can watch ALL teams games live for around £7.50 per month.
Ian Horan
31 Posted 12/10/2020 at 17:30:43
Forget fans, forget new stadiums. Lets still watch football virtually. So no fans no need for stadiums. Play all games at say 3 stadiums demolish the rest and let's watch all 38 games on line.

No policing costs, no stadiums to maintain. No travel no merchandise.

Thats as creditable as "the big 6" proposals. How about the big 6 should be the longest serving teams in the top division. So EFC, Arsenal there I say it Villa. You get my drift... really can't be bothered with the more gets more approach from the RS and Manure

My

John Pierce
32 Posted 12/10/2020 at 18:37:00
Sam. Football league clubs currently charge £10 stream each league game. The premier league is a premium product. No way they can suggest anything less than £15.

They believe it will go some way to making up for lost gate receipts. How I’m not sure. The Esk reckons Evertons match day spend is £17, Liverpool and United three/four times as much, Chelsea Arsenal five/six times and fledgling figures for Spurs even more.

How long before Everton TV offers a digital subscription for all are games?

Does anyone want to even watch others teams anymore? I watch my hockey team on their own network, occasionally watch others, and do watch the playoffs.

But in Franchise system, money, wages and player distribution is roughly equal and limits commercial advantage.

The problem is if we all have our own TV station without broadcasting revenue divided equally we just end up the rich and the poor, no competition and a shot product.

Sam Hoare
33 Posted 13/10/2020 at 10:05:22
JP, didn't know the EFL charged that much. I wonder how many sales they make?

I just think £15 will drive alot of people to go to pirate sites. It instinctively seems too much to me. Personally I don't see myself paying that except for one or two premium games perhaps.

But I know the people who set the price will have done alot of research on what people are prepared to pay. The proof will be in the pudding I suppose.

Simon Dalzell
34 Posted 14/10/2020 at 18:43:51
Illegal streams ? Perish the thought. Being a person of such moral integrity, it's 14. 95 all day long for me !!

Derek Moore
35 Posted 15/10/2020 at 22:04:39
Here in New Zealand, I get Spark Sport – a streaming service, with every Premier League game live and on demand for 25 NZD a month or about £13.

It also has some NBA games on there, the nationwide games I think, the NFL, Formula One, some cricket. It's pretty good value for me because I'm not just watching the footy.

I've friends in Australia and the EPL is on a separate streaming service there. It's shit, you get the EPL and the so-called Champions League and that's it. But even that's only £8 a month, for all games live and on demand.

What fans in the UK are gouged for is utterly ridiculous and reprehensible in my opinion. I'm saddened that the fans haven't pushed back more against the legalized theft they endure just to follow the club they love.

It's probably too late really now - the recent NetFlix / HBO / Apple / Disney+ streaming war is just following the same pattern that Sky, BT and Amazon have conjured up to rip off football fans. Once upon a time you subscribed to a service, paid your monthly subs and had it all in the one place.

The media companies seem to be under a delusion that we'll subscribe to three, four or more services. have less content and shell out more money. In the truly long term, probably not sustainable.

A young lad I work with pays NZ$20 a month to some dodgy internet pirates, but in return he gets something like 5000 channels streamed live from around the world. I'm not interested in the Polish weather channel, nor am I particularly thrilled by the idea of paying genuine crooks any of my money.

I've declined his kind offer to send me a link so I can avail myself of the same service for those reasons. But I wouldn't blame anyone who did sign up for such a service. When the legitimate route is by many magnitudes more expensive and no better in visual or sound quality why wouldn't you?

It's long been predicted that football will eat itself. My surprise is that it hasn't already done so.


Simon Dalzell
36 Posted 18/10/2020 at 13:05:00
vipbox.lc works well. ( Thanks Jay Woods BRZ.)
Brian Wilkinson
37 Posted 19/10/2020 at 20:54:15
Big praise to the Newcastle fans who set up a campaign to boycott it and instead donate the money to local food banks.

Hope a lot more teams go down this route and donate elsewhere instead of the money going to them who do not need it.

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