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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.”

They have recognised that this announcement is a double edged sword, on one hand fans will now see their teams, but on the other it has to be monitored carefully.

Photo: Action Images

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mattthelegend added 18:10 - Oct 9
Another nail in the coffin of football.

How much will each club receive from that £15.00

ItchenNorth added 19:05 - Oct 9
I get it, if this means some sort of income at this time, but I'm not in favour of pay per view in the long term. You can bet it's here to stay though. This is exactly what the big media players like Sky, BT and Amazon will want as their business model for Premier League football and other mainstream sports.

SalisburySaint added 20:51 - Oct 9
Agree with Itchen North, this is ok in the short term and at least the clubs are getting some of the money back that they are refunding season ticket holders. But hope this doesn’t lead to pay per view becoming the norm after things get back to normal

ElijahK added 00:02 - Oct 10
This pay per view is complete BS! I mean thee fact that over the season to watch our team play we’ll be spending like £570 (38X£15)! Which is completely ridiculous seeing that it basically cost that to teach all the games live, and yet during a global pandemic they’re charging everyone with that! I mean they were worried about people watching illegal streams, and they should be as I’m certainly not paying that much just to watch my team on the TV!
I mean people above me are saying that they hope this won’t become a regular, but unfortunately it most likely will, as if lots of people do but these game passes then it will only make the companies want to do it even more next season! Hopefully the government may sort their act out and we’ll be able to at least watch the home games (for season ticket holders).

ElijahK added 00:10 - Oct 10
I mean why they didn’t just keep with what they’ve been doing since the restart is baffling seeing that everyone was happy then, both the club and companies, along with their customers, us! Hopefully we can change this though just like with the “some games will be unavailable to watch” and hopefully “all games are behind closed doors”

ThermosNBlanket added 07:15 - Oct 10
So I might as well ask for ST refund then and just use that money to watch at home

SanMarco added 16:49 - Oct 10
Why was so much spen tby EPL clubs in the transfer window if they now need further subsidies from the hard-pressed fans? Until yesterday I thought I would be watching the Saints at Chelski - now I won't be. Until yesterday Theo (a player who probably wont even start and who players for the 'poorer' of the two teams) was on 100 grand A WEEK. He still is. Football needs to look at itself and stop screwing us.

WestEndBoy added 20:36 - Oct 10
Not the first pay per view prem game.was something called prem plus years ago

SanMarco added 01:15 - Oct 11
He says "to be shown individually" WestEndBoy. I think that means that the original pay-per-views were on Sky but non-customers could pay to watch too. These ones now are ONLY on pay-for-view so our expensive subscriptions mean nowt.

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Letters from Wiltshire #09 by wessex_exile
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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