Sports News

Premier League to switch five games a week to pay-per-view

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - The Premier League has agreed to a deal with domestic television broadcasters for games outside of those in the normal broadcast slots to be shown via pay-per-view.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Watford v Manchester United - Vicarage Road, Watford, Britain - December 22, 2019 General view of Sky Sports microphones before the match REUTERS/David Klein

So far this season, BT Sport and Sky Sports have been broadcasting all Premier League games as part of their existing football packages -- a temporary measure due to the barring of spectators in grounds as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But under the new interim plan, those matches not already selected for broadcast in October, will now be available only for purchase via pay-per-view platforms.

The revenue, beyond production and other costs, from the PPV games will go to the clubs and not to the broadcasters.

Sky Sports said the matches will be priced at 14.95 pounds ($19.43) per game in the UK and 16.95 euros ($20.03) in Ireland.

"Under these new arrangements, the current live match selections will remain in place and will be broadcast as normal," the league said in a statement here.

“In addition, the five matches per round not already selected will be made available to supporters on a pay-per-view basis, accessed via BT Sport Box Office and Sky Sports Box Office platforms.

The new broadcasting arrangement is planned for matches in October and will then be reviewed by the Premier League.

The Football Supporters Association (FSA) welcomed the fact that all games could be watched by fans but asked for a reduction in the price.

“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,” it said.

The FSA urged clubs to refund season ticket holders and to “reconsider pricing” of the matches.

Sky said it would broadcast Manchester United’s match at Newcastle United on Saturday Oct. 17, Leicester City v Aston Villa a day later and West Bromwich Albion v Burnley on Monday Oct. 19.

“The Premier League has come to this decision with its clubs to provide a service for supporters who are no longer able to attend and to generate matchday revenue,” Sky Sports Managing Director Rob Webster said.

“We are happy to support them with this interim solution - and we share their desire to get fans back into grounds as soon as it is safe to do so,” he added.

Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris