Southampton’s trip to face Chelsea next Saturday is set to be the first game of the Premier League’s controversial pay-per-view plan.
Plans to screen games via Sky and BT Box Office services were announced yesterday to ensure that fans can continue to watch their teams before being allowed back to stadiums.
However, the league has faced a strong backlash from fans over the £14.95 price that is set to be charged for each game that has not been chosen for TV coverage – further increasing the already huge cost for UK fans wanting to watch their team on a regular basis.
Saints’ 3pm meeting with Chelsea next weekend will be the first match aired via this new initiative and can be viewed on BT Sport Box Office.
A week later, Saints are involved in a fixture chosen by Sky when they host Everton, but will then be back on pay-per-view when they travel to Villa Park to face Aston Villa on the 1st November.
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The majority of Premier League clubs voted in favour of this new plan. Via the BBC, we learn that 19 of the 20 members agreed, whilst Leicester City were only team to vote against it.
A lot has been made of the way that top-flight teams spent £1bn on transfers – whilst many more millions lost to agents fees and other costs – during the summer but are now willing to add more expense to fans that provide them with vital finance each year.
Looking at the costs for fans in the UK, it is easy to see why some are calling for a boycott of the PPV service.
A monthly pass to view Sky Sports via NOW TV is priced at £33.99, whilst the equivalent for BT Sport is £25. Two Saints matches will be on Amazon Prime this season too, with a monthly membership for that costing £7.99.
If we say that Saints will be, on average, screened via the PPV service twice each month, the cost to watch them on each service in one 30-day period could be as high as £96.88 – far too much considering how some families have been affected financially by the COVID-19 outbreak.