Premier League Considering U-Turn on Pay-Per-View Games Following Low Viewing Figures

Oct 27, 2020, 1:15 PM GMT
Romaine Sawyers, Chris Wood
West Brom's 0-0 draw with Burnley reportedly drew the lowest figures | Pool/Getty Images

Premier League officials are reconsidering the idea of pay-per-view Premier League games amid an ongoing backlash and poor viewing figures, according to a report.

Sky and BT Sport have been exclusively hosting selected fixtures on box office at weekends, with fans expected to pay £14.95 on top of their usual package in order to watch the selected matches if they wish to.

It's been met with fury from fans, who have subsequently urged one another to boycott the idea and raise money for various charities across the country instead.

The Mirror report that Premier League shareholders are now set to meet on Tuesday and discuss the issue, where a decision will be made on how best to move forward with the idea. Scrapping the concept completely is mentioned, as is a re-evaluation of the price, which broadcasters Sky and BT have said they do not set.

The report also states that viewing figures for the 0-0 draw between Burnley and West Brom available to purchase on PPV last Monday evening were 'exceptionally low' and pulled in the worst figures to date. The results of the project have 'caused embarrassment' and 'raised question marks' over it, which will be discussed in the meeting.

Premier League clubs aren't said to be benefitting all that much from the revenue that is made through PPV purchases, despite some viewing figures such as Newcastle vs Manchester United and Arsenal vs Leicester pulling in more respectable numbers.

Bukayo Saka, Wesley Fofana
Arsenal vs Leicester on Monday night was available to purchase on pay-per-view | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Broadcasters are also frustrated according to the report, with them not actually making any extra revenue from the concept with all profits going towards the clubs involved. Fans have to pay more on top of the subscription packages they already pay which has led to anger and boycotting at the expense of no extra profit for the broadcasters.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley hit out at the Premier League for the project via the club's official website, calling for them to review the arrangement and suggested that the price should be reduced to £4.95 until Christmas.

Burnley vs Chelsea is currently scheduled to appear on BT Sport Box Office on Saturday, while Sunday's midday kick off between Southampton and Aston Villa is scheduled for Sky Sports Box Office this weekend.