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Opinion

‘Premier League Pay Per View – It is the pricing not the idea that is the massive problem’

2 weeks ago
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Premier League Pay Per View has been pushed out of the headlines.

The Liverpool and Manchester United attempted power grab has understandably wiped pretty much everything else out of the thoughts of both media and fans.

It is quite incredible to think that Premier League Pay Per View was only made public at the end of last week, it seems like a lifetime ago now with it being swamped by something far bigger and far more dangerous.

However, when things calm down and the American power grab becomes ever more exposed as totally morally bankrupt, the Premier League Pay Per View will be very much back in focus.

For Newcastle fans it is the Man Utd match in only four days time that is looking large, whether to pay the £14.95 or not.

It is 8pm on Saturday night and if you are in the UK and want to watch (legally) your team play, the Premier League and broadcasters view is pay up or shut up.

For some fans of clubs, not paying for Premier League Pay Per View will mean not watching their team play at all live (on TV), with Villa, Fulham and West Brom not having a single game chosen for the original TV selections, so it is £44.85 each if they want to watch all their games live.

This could easily have been Newcastle United, you only need to look last month, when the September live PL TV matches were announced, NUFC didn’t feature at all. It was only when at a later date the Premier League bowed to pressure and made all non-chosen TV games, free to view, if you have Sky Sports and / or BT Sport.

My question is, was it purely the idea of Premier League Pay Per View that caused such a backlash, or was it the price?

In an ideal world (which we very clearly haven’t got in any way at the minute!), all things would be free, or no extra charge, but that is not the real world.

I think like on so many other things, the likes of the Premier League clubs and broadcasters are completely out of touch with reality, when it came to deciding £14.95 was the ‘right’ price.

People have pointed to EFL fans paying £10 to watch each of their matches via an iFollow stream, the reasoning being that an extra fiver isn’t too bad to watch Newcastle United v Man Utd (or West Brom v Burnley…), compared to say Harrogate v Forest Green or Sunderland v Burton…

This though completely ignores the fact that fans of Premier League clubs pay for their Sky Sports and BT Sport (and Amazon Prime) packages predominantly / exclusively so that they can watch their club pay on TV.

EFL fans pay a tenner per game to watch their team as a one-off payment.

Premier League fans are in many / most cases paying the price of a season ticket, or more, already to broadcasters to watch their club live on TV.

For me, it is the pricing and not the idea that is the massive problem.

Do you honestly believe that if they had announced the non-televised picks could be watched on pay per view at a fiver a time, there would have been the same outcry? Or indeed any?

Even the likes of Fulham, Villa and West Brom fans only having to find another £15 to watch all their three games this month.

Not ideal but not a shocker.

Instead, they are taking our eyes out when charging £14.95 a pop, in my opinion. They aren’t in touch with reality. Particularly when in no way taking into account that some clubs will end up having most of their games pay per view, with clearly no fans in stadiums for some time to come and all games set to be televised with this split.

At a fiver a time this Newcastle United v Manchester United match could have had a seriously massive audience, neutrals as well thinking it is only a fiver, so I’ll give it a watch on a Saturday night.

As a neutral, who on earth would pay £14.95 to watch two other clubs, neither of them great either.

I reckon at £4.99 Premier League Pay Per View would have been seen as not anything that noteworthy.

At £6.99 or maybe £7.99 I think they would have still got away with it and not massive criticism.

At £9.99 starting to hit major problems.

With £14.95 though, clearly a total rip-off.

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