Premier League supporters in the United Kingdom have reacted angrily after a new pay-per-view fee was introduced for viewers to watch live football on TV.
A deal between the Premier League and its UK broadcasting partners Sky Sports and BT Sports was agreed until October to show all matches live given the ban on supporters entering stadiums due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The agreement ensured all matches were televised and included in viewers’ subscriptions.
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However, from October, the extra five matches which were not originally due to be shown live will be available for a fee of £14.95-per-match.
Prior to this extra fee, a monthly subscription to Sky Sports cost £33.99 while a BT Sport pass was £25-per-month.
After the news was announced, fans made their displeasure known online and the hashtag #PremierLeagueisCorrupt trended on Twitter in the UK.
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville, himself a television pundit in the UK for Sky Sports, wrote on Twitter: “This is a really bad move by the Premier League to charge £14.95 for single matches that have been shown free for 6 months.”
Since 1992-93 when the Premier League was formed, a selection of matches had been selected each weekend to be shown live on UK, but most Saturday matches were not available for TV.
The UK government had said fans may return to stadiums from Oct.1 but after a rise in coronavirus cases, that plan was scrapped.