Both Sky and BT Sport are reportedly considering the new Premier League Pay Per View (PPV) system. The newly implemented system asks fans to pay £14.95 ($19.33) for Premier League matches not played on Sky or BT.
Out of the twenty teams in the division, Leicester City were the only ones to reject the proposal. The move to bring back money lost due to the lack of fans in attendance has already backfired.
Fans met the decision with outrage across the UK. In the wake of a pandemic, the decision does not help the people in any way. Lockdown restrictions make it impossible for fans to watch the games at pubs or restaurants. Additionally, it’s also difficult to split the cost with others due to the newly imposed restrictions.
Extremely Low Viewership
These factors have led to extremely low viewership in the opening weeks of the season. PPV games this season have averaged a staggeringly low 39,000 viewers per game. No single match surpassed 100,000 viewers, and three games did not crack 10,000.
Boycotting for a Better Cause
Fans around the Premier League have united to use the money for a better cause. This started when Newcastle United fans raised and donated over £19,000 ($24,600) instead of paying for the game. The money went to the Newcastle Food Bank, which helps in giving meals to those in need. This is an incredibly important cause heading into a second lockdown for the UK.
The Future of Pay Per View
This underwhelming response has provoked Sky and BT to consider cancelling the service. Both companies are concerned about their reputations in this deal. They would likely make more money if they reduced the cost, as viewership would skyrocket.
The current PPV program will be reviewed over the International Break in November, with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley suggesting to reduce the cost to £4.95 ($6.41) per match.