Premier League Confirms Some Matches Will Only Be On Pay-Per-View
A General View of the Stadium Bowl before the Televised Premier League match between West Ham United … [+]
West Ham United FC via Getty Images
The Premier League has confirmed that matches not selected for live coverage by Sky Sports and BT Sport will be streamed live in the U.K. – but viewers will have to pay £14.95 ($19.38) for the privilege.
Unlike other countries where all Premier League matches are transmitted live, British broadcasters bid for packages of selected matches with highlights the only option for games not covered.
Under the terms of the current agreement, Sky Sports can show 128 matches a season, BT Sport has 32 games and Amazon Prime has the exclusive rights to two full rounds of ten matches in December.
Premier League live streams
However, since matches restarted behind-closed-doors in June, the Premier League has temporarily allowed Sky Sports, BT Sport, the BBC and Amazon Prime to show every single match live and has abandoned the 3 p.m. blackout.
It is understood the clubs agreed to this reluctantly, while the league and broadcasters have been wary of devaluing what is a multi-billion-dollar product.
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The clubs’ favored option was to make matches that would not have been televised under the terms of the domestic TV contract to be available on a pay-per-view basis, hoping the revenues generated would help compensate for the loss of matchday income.
Now the Premier League has acquiesced to these demands. Until the end of October, Sky and BT Sport will broadcast five matches between them with the other five available on Sky Sports Box Office and BT Sport Box Office.
“The Premier League today confirmed all fixtures until the end of October will continue to be made available for fans to watch live in the United Kingdom,” said the league. “The agreement will be regularly reviewed in consultation with clubs and in line with any decisions made by the Government regarding the return of spectators to stadiums.
“[Soccer] is not the same without supporters at matches. The Premier League and our clubs remain committed to the safe return of fans as soon as possible.”
The additional revenues will please clubs and broadcasters will be happy that the pay-per-view games do not bypass their platforms entirely, as is the case in lower divisions. Fans in the Championship, League 1 and League 2 can stream matches via their team’s websites or the common ‘iFollow’ platform, offering them to free for season ticket holders or on a pay-per-view basis.
Fans, on the other hand, will not be happy about having to pay more money to watch their team. It could be argued that paying for the ability to live stream a match is no different than spending money on a match ticket, but it would be hard to find a match-going supporter who would agree that these are substitute goods.