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Premier League Pay Per View exclusive from The Times now backed up by official PL announcement

4 weeks ago
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The 20 Premier League clubs met on Tuesday (27 October) to discuss what to do about the backlash caused by their Premier League Pay Per View initiative.

The £14.95 charge per match met with frustration and anger by fans across the Premier League.

No official announcement after the meeting followed from the Premier League themselves but Martyn Ziegler who is Chief Sports Reporter at The Times had inside sources who allowed him to reveal what had been said and agreed.

The man from The Times revealed that the first nine Premier League Pay Per View matches had averaged 39,000 paying customers (so 39,000 x £14.95 paid, not the actual number of viewers per match which would be higher). These stats collated, didn’t include the tenth PPV match which was Brighton v West Brom on Monday night.

The Times reported that £5.247 million revenue had been generated by those first nine PPV matches, though some of that money will go to the broadcasters. Bottom line is that if £14.95 was continued to be charged and you had a similar take up each time, you would be looking at each round of PL matches generating between £2.5m and £3m for the usual five games not chosen as part of the usual selections.

So hypothetically, over a full season of 38 PL rounds of games including a similar amount of PPV games, works out at no more than £100m being generated altogether by PPV matches, averaging out at £5m per club and that is before broadcasters take their cut. So, bottom line, Premier League Pay Per View at that £14.95 pricing point, certainly no money spinner.

The report saying that inside Tuesday’s meeting, the 20 Premier League clubs accepted the pricing has been an absolute PR disaster and they have decided to review that £14.95 charge…BUT no decision was reached in Tuesday’s meeting.

Instead, The Times said that the Premier League will continue with the £14.95 PPV charge for the next two rounds of games (Newcastle are Sky Sports normal selections on Sunday at home against Everton (1 Nov) and then Southampton away on Friday 6 Nov) but institute a change for PPV games after the international break (Newcastle already chosen by BT Sport for their Chelsea home match on Sat 21 Nov).

The report said a decision on future pricing will be decided on Thursday 5 November with The Times saying the most likely price to be agreed is £9.95, the same price EFL clubs charge for iFollow streams. However, this ignores the fact that countless Premier League fans already pay subscriptions to Sky and BT (and Amazon) in order to watch their team playing live.

The Times reported that obviously the hope of the 20 Premier League clubs is to find a price that heads off the PR disaster and at the same time helps produce a far larger number of people prepared to pay for PPV matches, which of course would / could mean significantly larger profits.

One especially interesting part of The Times report for Newcastle fans, as revealed by Martyn Ziegler:

‘The Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has urged for the price to be cut to £4.95 per match but, according to sources in the meeting, the clubs were told that would mean very little profit.

Some club chairmen also raised eyebrows at Ashley’s stance on the issue given that Newcastle were the only club to vote against a rescue package for clubs in League One and League Two.’

At the Premier League meeting it was revealed that some matches had attracted fewer than 10,000 paying subscribers and that none had more than 100,000.

Now we have finally had an official Premier League announcement following what was agreed at Tuesday’s meeting, which very much backs up what was reported in The Times exclusive:

The Premier League can confirm the remaining broadcast arrangements in the United Kingdom for matches taking place over the weekend commencing Friday 6 November.

In addition to the live broadcast selections confirmed for that weekend, the remaining five matches will be available to supporters on a pay-per-view basis, shown via the BT Sport Box Office and Sky Sports Box Office platforms.

In consultation with clubs, all elements of the pay-per-view service, including the price, will be reviewed ahead of Premier League matches returning after the international break later next month.

All times below are GMT.

Matchweek 8

Friday 6 November

17:30 Brighton v Burnley (Sky Sports Box Office)

Saturday 7 November

15:00 Crystal Palace v Leeds (BT Sport Box Office)

20:00 West Ham v Fulham (BT Sport Box Office)

Sunday 8 November

12:00 West Brom v Spurs (Sky Sports Box Office)

19:15 Arsenal v Aston Villa (Sky Sports Box Office)

As The Times report stated, the Premier League clubs agreed this weekend’s Premier League Pay Per View matches would also all go ahead at the £14.95 pricing and these are:

Matchweek 7

Friday 30 October

20:00 Wolves v Crystal Palace (BT Sport Box Office)

Saturday 31 October

15:00 Burnley v Chelsea (BT Sport Box Office)

Sunday 1 November

12:00 Aston Villa v Southampton (Sky Sports Box Office)

19:15 Spurs v Brighton (Sky Sports Box Office)

Monday 2 November

17:30 Fulham v West Brom (Sky Sports Box Office)

My personal feeling is that the Premier League have to go lower than £9.95 if they want to see a significant change in the response of fans. I think it will still feel they are trying to get away with charging as much as they can get away with, considering just how much PL fans already pay for their existing Sky and BT packages.

If a fiver isn’t viable, I would think somewhere around £6.95 or £7.95 at the very most if they are to stand any chance of seeing a mass take up of these Premier League Pay Per View matches.

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