The subject of Premier League Live TV games has been headline news once again.

Or rather, the amounts of cash that will be earned in the future, has dominated debate.

This week saw confirmation of five of the available seven packages when it comes to UK TV broadcasting rights of Premier League live TV games.

This is for the period covering seasons 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22.

The cash from overseas rights is set to remain around the same level at worst, or more likely show an increase compared to the current position. The overseas money arrives via deals struck country by country or region by region and with a number still to be agreed, the ones already signed off all but confirms that the current levels will be at least matched.

The five UK deals so far agreed, cover 160 of the 380 Premier League matches each season for 2019-22.

They have already guaranteed £4.46bn per season in the new deal, with the UK live rights paying a total of £5.14bn over the course of the current three year contracts.

The two remaining packages are yet to be confirmed and they cover another 40 Premier League Live TV games.

The current contracts mean that broadcasters are paying on average £10.2m per game for UK rights. However, the deals for the 160 matches so far, are only paying on average £9.3m per match.

The two remaining packages are generally agreed to be less attractive than the other five, so the expectation that the price per game paid for those 40 games will be lower again than the £9.3m per match already agreed for the 160 so far.

So what we are talking about here is that the 20 Premier League clubs have agreed to far more Premier League Live TV games, to guarantee they continue to get at least the same amount of money. With the final UK rights for all 200 live matches unlikely to be much higher, if anything, than the current £5.14bn banked over this three year deal of which the 2017/18 season is the middle one of it.

When we get to the end of these next contracts (2021/22), it will mean we have had 30 years of the Premier League, and the chase for TV cash has been ever escalating.

This is how many Premier League Live TV games were shown in the UK in each period:

60 1992-2001

106 2001-2004

138 2004-2013

154 2013-2016

168 2016-2019

200 2020-2022

For the first time, a majority of Premier League matches will be shown live when the new contracts kick in for the 2019/20 season, with 200 of the 380 broadcast live in the UK.

The very first contract (seasons 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95) saw only 60 of 420 PL games shown live, at this time there were still 22 clubs in the top tier, so 40 more matches.

That was less than 15% of matches sold off for live coverage.

As you can see, the greed of club owners at the expense and inconvenience of match going fans, has seen that percentage of live matches sold off, increasing substantially.

The current figure of 168 live matches from a total of 380 represents 44%.

When we then move to 200 of 380 it will be 53%.

How many fans who pay to go to matches would vote (if given the chance) in favour of this relentless urge to bank more TV money?

Newcastle fans have already seen 16 of their first 31 Premier League matches chosen for live UK broadcast with almost certainly more to come.

This follows a pattern over the years where despite regular failure on the pitch, a disproportionately higher number of NUFC matches are chosen, ahead of all but a handful of other clubs.

When Sky Sports viewing figures dipped last season, Newcastle United were even mentioned as a key factor in that, due to dropping into the Championship.

So if 44% of Premier League matches are currently shown live and Newcastle’s figure is likely to be at least 50% or more, when it rises to 53% of PL games overall in the new contracts, fair to assume that at least 60% of Newcastle matches will be shown live.

For those of us who are 3pm Saturday afternoon traditionalists, they will be increasingly rare in the future.

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  • Rich Lawson

    Why does this have to be just money in the bank ? Would it really matter that much to a lot of clubs to use some of it as a (small) subsidy to reduce the prices for people (not boxes) who actually go to the game ? On a sour note my local independent village pub has just had to give up it’s Sky Sports subscription because it can not afford to pay for it anymore !

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      Why not boxes as the price of these are far to high they need to come down to. Also more money needs to go to the lower leagues where some clubs do not even have under soil heating it would be a small cost to pay and would help protect players when they played lower teams in the cup.

    • TheFatController

      I can imagine the pubs are the ones not getting the football discounted.

      Home owners will be given football for free on occasions if they threaten to leave sky, because that customer is valuable for cross and up selling on broadband, mobile and other tv packages.

      Football is just the loss leader for sky and BT to fight over all these other services. Until the likes of amazon prime and Netflix can sell services on top of a football package, they won’t be able to afford the rights, having little to contra the losses against like sky and BT do.

    • Mark Potter

      It’s very expensive for a pub these days, and generally falling attendances in pubs and that more have Sky at home anyway, means it is not cost effective for most pubs. They simply don’t get enough extra people to come in for a few hours to make the cost worthwhile. And those trying to bypass the Sky restrictions have been stamped on hard by Sky’s army of lawyers.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Yes the march for T.V games is relentless. It would not be so bad if Sky did not put us on at Sunday four O’clock three times in a row against Swansea Brighton and Southampton then follow it up with Burnley on a Monday night. Throw in Chelsea and Palace on Sunday’s with early kick offs and the fans have had problems getting to and from games this season. There should be a rule for an equal number of home and away games on T.V. as for Newcastle there are far more games away shown on T.V. The people who pick these fixtures on a Sunday should be made to make the journey’s

  • Leazes.

    When Sky Sports viewing figures dipped last season so did MOTD by 14%….

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      The reason being that Newcastle were not on match of the day either.

    • TheNutJob

      Sky have had to split the sports channels as people were sick of paying high fees. BT have increased the price twice in a year.
      wonder if Bt will decrease the fee now they have 10 matches less per season

      • Leazes.

        It’ll go towards executive bonuses for doing whatever the hell they do…. it never gets cheaper.

      • Coble’s Return

        Not a hope – Toblerones are more valley than mountain now, but the price holds firm.

    • Mark Potter

      Sunderland fans couldn’t bear to watch their own team, neither could anyone else.

  • TheNutJob

    football has sold it`s soul the the Tv companies

    • Leazes.

      …and the advertising which is pushed around the globe to saturation point.

      • Kneebotherm8

        No wonder Mike isn’t eager to do a deal for the clubs sale…….

  • JEz_Brizzle

    I remember as a kid being desperate to see my football team on MOTD, begging my parents to stay up late to get a glimpse. As someone who lives some 5 hours away from St James, getting to matches regularly just is not really possible even if I had the money to get there. So I think the demand for seeing your club that you are passionate about is there particularly for those that just can’t get there because of distance or money. But being at a match is SO different to watching on a passionless TV. For those that think it will lead to no fans at the match, how many years have we heard that, and yet St James is still packed with so many disgruntled fans. Lets be honest though, if the seats started to empty because of TV coverage, Match ticket prices would drop because of simple supply and demand. Owners would not want an empty passionless stand full of staff they have to pay to be there. Its a revenue stream, along with the beer and burger stands.

  • Mark Potter

    Too easy to blame greedy owners. All the owners are under the same pressure from fans to improve, and you can’t spend more money on transfers if all you are relying on is match day receipts. Even NUFC with 50k fans at matches gets most of its income from TV.

    There are greedy fans, who want to see more football on TV, and greedy advertisers who want their products to appear during live matches with big audiences. For every travelling fan, there may be 10-20 times those who are more than happy to see an NUFC match live on TV. How many Geordies, and many neutrals, must have enjoyed the game last Sunday afternoon on TV, and not cared one iota about Man Utd fans travelling back to Berkshire and Hampshire after the game.

    What’s most annoying for me as a fan, is that you can’t (legitimately) see NUFC Saturday afternoon games live in the UK. But virtually everyone living outside of the UK can. NSBC’s coverage in the USA (where soccer is still a minority sport) of Newcastle games is better than you can get if you are in Newcastle! I work abroad and get to see more games while I’m outside the UK than when I’m home.

    Every game should be televised in the UK, including those on a Saturday afternoon.

    • HarryHype59

      I can envisage a time in the not too distant future, where TV fans buy a season ticket from a digital platform provider, to see all matches that their team plays. That I believe , is the future of football on TV.