Saints To Make History As They Feature In First Ever Premier League Pay Per View Game
Friday, 9th Oct 2020 17:58
Southampton's game at Chelsea will be the first-ever Premier League fixture to be shown individually on pay-per-view after Sky Sports and BT confirmed the first matches that will be shown live as part of the new plans in October.
The Premier League confirmed on Friday that matches outside of the designated TV selections will be shown live to enable supporters to watch their teams in action, at an extra cost.
BT Sport have confirmed that these games will be priced at £14.95 each, with all profits going to Premier League clubs to support their loss of matchday revenue, with the matches available for purchase to everyone, regardless of any BT subscribers.
There has already been fierce criticism from supporters, who are being charged even more money to watch their teams from home, despite Premier League clubs spending £1.2 billion in the summer transfer window as well as some obscene money on wages, including Spurs who after pleading poverty to the Government and getting a £175 million loan, to enable them to continue to run spent a fair chunk of it on Gareth Bale's salary.
Fans groups have already been vocal and there are concerns that although it may help in the short term to prop up club's finances, in the longer term it could be counter productive, TV companies will be pushing for more pay per view games even after the crisis is over and many fans will prefer to pay £15 to watch it at home rather than fork out the already inflated prices to watch a game live.
Then there is the issue of a pay per view game encouraging supporters to get together and break lock down rules just at the time the Government is trying to maintain social distancing.
Rather than pay £14.95 individually it is thought that many fans will simply chip in to watch it at a friends house, and that could see regulations broken, it is likely that pubs will also subscribe and social distancing will not be adhered too in a crowded pub with a larger than normal crowd in as it will be cheaper to have a few pints rather than watch it at home.
But going to the pub could also cause issues with the 10pm curfew, several of the initial games kick off at 8pm on a Friday & Saturday night, that means that with an average amount of added time for injuries and substitutions etc in each half, a game would finish at around 9.55pm, but a delay for a long injury could mean a game would finish at past 10pm, this could spell trouble in crowded town centres if enforced.
Newcastle V Manchester United later in the evening after Saints play Chelsea is one such game.
There is also the cost to elderly supporters, for them at some clubs it can actually work out cheaper to watch a game live on a concession season ticket than the £15 per game it will now cost that supporter to watch it on TV.
It is on the other hand good to see profits going to the clubs to compensate for matchday revenue, but that is surely going to benefit the big clubs more than the smaller clubs, many have been keen on negotiating their own pay per view deals seperate from the rest of the Premier League and this is another step towards that.
The Football Supporters Association have issued the following statement in response to the announcement:
“Today’s announcement shows that fan power works. At the start of this season the Premier League and its broadcasters had planned to leave match-going fans entirely locked out of their side’s matches; now thanks to the sustained pressure of our #LetUsWatch campaign all games will be available for fans.
“Many Premier League clubs have already taken money from fans, particularly season ticket holders, for matches they can’t attend so we urge them to get refunds out to those supporters as soon as possible.
“We’ve also already heard from many supporters and FSA members who are concerned about the £15 per game being charged and we’d urge BT Sport and Sky Sports to reconsider their pricing for these games.”
Photo: Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #12 by wessex_exile
And the matches keep coming thick and fast, with tonight’s trip to league leaders Newport to face – though not, it now transpires, Shrewsbury on Friday night – called off because of rampant Covid-19 amongst The Shrews. As for tonight, if we can keep nicking results against the run of play whilst I’ll certainly be happy, I’ll certainly also be considerably more stressed in the process. Our previous two home matches we probably ought to have looked on as ours to lose and should never have been that difficult. Tonight is different, and if we can grind something out as the underdog against a team who have made a very strong start to the season, I’m sure we’ll all be much happier?
Letters from Wiltshire #11 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #09 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #08 by wessex_exile
Lots of discussion this week on football forums, including here, on two subjects – the petition to lobby parliament to allow limited numbers of supporters back into football grounds, and of course the return of that old chestnut from Man City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano, introducing Premier League ‘B’ teams into the EFL. First off, I don’t mind admitting I’ve signed the petition ( https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/552036 ), as have 192,779 others at the time of writing, though I don’t actually think it’ll make any difference. I can completely understand why some do not think this is a good idea, as second-wave spikes of coronavirus infection pop up all over the country (mainly because – let’s face it – some people are dicks and can’t be trusted to sit the right way on a toilet). But to me, the two go hand in hand (not dicks and toilets) – whilst football clubs throughout the country struggle financially without spectators, we are always going to be under threat of this sort of ‘B’ team nonsense as a condition of financial support from the Premier League fat cats. They got their way in 2016 with the EFL trophy, who’s to say they won’t again when the financial squeeze really starts to tighten its grip without paying customers through the turnstiles? Robbie has featured prominently in this debate in recent weeks, and looks like he will again on Sky tomorrow if this tweet from Sophy Ridge is anything to go by -
Letters from Wiltshire #07 by wessex_exile
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