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Premier League Pay Per View announcement imminent as the 20 clubs meet again

4 weeks ago
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The 20 Premier League clubs met nine days ago (Tuesday 27 October) to make a decision on what to do, following 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.

At that meeting of the 20 clubs it was agreed to push back the decision, to continue with the £14.95 charge for the first round of November games this weekend (Friday 6 November – Sunday 8 November).

The idea then being for the clubs to meet again today (Thursday 5 November) to decide what the plan for Premier League Pay Per View games should be moving forward, with a decision to be announced ASAP after today’s meeting, confirming what will be the case as from the following round of PL matches (weekend of Saturday 21 November) after the international break.

Whilst fans would understandably like to see a return to all the extra PL matches being shown without an additional charge, as was the case during Premier League restart and in September 2020, that appears most definitely not to be on the table, even though we are now back under lockdown type measures as from today for at least a month.

So the decision on Premier League Pay Per View is basically going to come down to what they think they can get away with when the 20 clubs meet up today.

Rumours in the media have claimed the clubs are potentially looking at a reduction to £9.95 per match. However, the consensus amongst fans appears to be more towards a fiver, with maybe around £5.95 or £6.95, £7.95 at the very most probably, still being a price that could possibly see general acceptance amongst supporters.

Some fan groups are demanding the end to Premier League Pay Per View charging at all costs, which would appear to be counter-productive, as with the broadcasters and clubs adamant that some kind of charge has to be made, simply getting rid of pay per view matches would mean no fans able to legally see the games live. For fans of clubs such as West Brom and Fulham, that would have equated to not seeing their team play live at all in October and November, with none of their matches chosen for the normal live TV selections.

After that meeting of clubs on 27 October, 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).

The Times reporting 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 said that inside the meeting, the 20 Premier League clubs accepted the pricing has been an absolute PR disaster and change was needed.

Newcastle are already chosen by BT Sport for their Chelsea home match on Sat 21 November but the following weekend the away NUFC game at Crystal Palace is set to be a Premier League Pay Per View game.

The Times said that the most likely price to be agreed today (Thursday 5 November) 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.

The official Premier League announcement which eventually followed that 27 October meeting, named these latest £14.95 PPV matches :

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)

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