The English Premier League fans face the prospects of paying more for league matches, as measures are being introduced in response to the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic on matches.
The league has rolled out interim broadcast arrangements that will allow UK soccer fans to watch more games at a cost, while the COVID-19 pandemic keeps them away from stadiums.
According to a report from Bloomberg, fans of the UK’s 20 elite clubs will be able to pay for additional October matches on either of the BT Sport Box Office or Sky Sports Box Office platforms that would not otherwise have been broadcasted.
The league authorities in a separate statement noted that BT and Sky will continue to offer subscribers their existing October schedule of matches, and will charge £14.95 ($19.43) for each of the extra games they show.
The Premier League in its statement disclosed that clubs agreed to the additional measures to enable all fans to watch their teams live, following the playing of the league games behind closed doors due to the pandemic. Although. a top pundit at Sky, Gary Neville, was quite critical of it.
Gary Neville, who helps front Sky’s match-day coverage, in a tweet post, said, “This is a really bad move by the premier league to charge £14.95 for single matches that have been shown free for 6 months.”
European clubs, including premier league clubs, have been complaining about the shut out of fans from league games due to the pandemic as this has seen their revenue drop drastically. A huge part of their income is from ticket sales to fans, which they don’t enjoy at the moment.
The Premier League is expected to use the additional pay-per-view money to support its clubs, which have seen match-day sales evaporate because of the pandemic. In a report published in June, a consultancy firm, Deloitte, estimated a roughly 1 billion-pound revenue hit for Premier League clubs in the 2019/2020 financial year.
Fans have been banned from attending matches live since the spring, in a bid to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Premier League said on Friday that it was committed to the safe return of fans as soon as possible.
Why it matters
The 20/21 Premier League season has shipped in more goals after 4 games than any other season in the league’s history. The most competitive league in the world has seen matches played behind closed doors since Project restart. Still, Club fans can only watch their teams when it is televised; however, BT, Sky are offering extra matches to fans at a cost, which will also generate revenue for the clubs. It is a win-win situation.