New top-flight pay-per-view scheme to 'drive fans to illegal streams'

New Premier League pay-per-view service will ‘drive fans to illegal streams’ warns football finance expert following top-flight’s decision to charge £14.95-a-match for non-televised games this October

  • A Premier League pay-per-view service will charge fans £14.95 to watch games
  • Only those games not picked for normal TV coverage will be available on PPV 
  • Finance expert Kieran Maguire thinks fans will now watch more illegal streams
  • Maguire also thinks there is a potential Covid-19 health risk in the new service

The Premier League’s new pay-per-view service that charges fans £14.95 a match will drive supporters towards illegal streams, says football finance expert Kieran Maguire.

England’s top-flight announced that all matches in October will be broadcasted on TV, though games not chosen for the regular match times will be available via Sky Sports or BT Sport’s Box Office channels. 

Maguire, author of the ‘Price of Football’ book also claimed that Premier League clubs not normally picked for selection will not benefit as much as the bigger teams from this service.

The Premier League’s pay-per-view scheme will drive fans to illegal streams, says an expert

Top-flight matches not selected for TV will be priced at £14.95-a-game in the new service

Maguire told the BBC: ‘It is going to drive people towards piracy (and) it discriminates against the clubs that don’t tend to be on Sky Sports or BT that often.’ 

The idea was discussed with all 20 Premier League clubs, with Leicester City reportedly the only side to object to the new streaming service which will cost fans more money to watch Premier League football on television.

If a fan wants to watch all of the games, they would need to take up subscriptions for Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime plus the £14.95-a-match service. 

The Premier League is charging more money than the EFL (£10) as they have more cameras

The Premier League is following the EFL, who have the iFollow service which allows fans to watch Football League matches – including 3pm kick-offs – for £10.

England’s top division, which is widely regarded as one of the best leagues in the world, have claimed that they need to charge more than the Football League as they have more cameras around the pitch.

Maguire calls this theory ‘flawed’, while he also believes fans will share the £14.95 match pass with friends which could be a health risk. 

Maguire believes fans will share the £14.95 match pass which could be a Covid-19 health risk

He added: ‘Families and friends are going to gather together, which completely goes against what we are trying to achieve by discouraging people from going into other people’s houses. 

‘If they got the pricing right it might have been fine, but nobody actually knows what is happening with the money.

‘Is it going into a central pot? Is it being used to bail out lower league clubs? Or is it going to be kept by the individual clubs who are playing these particular matches? It all seems to be a bit ill-thought through.’




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