The only way to watch football in the pandemic era is through TV broadcasts and online streams. It means that clubs do not get high revenues from ticket sales as is the norm. This has led to introduction of the £14.95 a match pay-per-view (PPV) program which has resulted in lots of protest across the UK. Fans are vowing to continue with the protest if the program is not shelved.
Fan restrictions have lead to a decline in funds for football clubs across all tiers of English football. To ensure that clubs get some income from these broadcasts, the football governing body in England, the Football Association (FA), selected some matches that would only be available via PPV. The selected matches are aired on BT Sport and Sky Sports at £14.95 a game.
This has brought about a lot of protests from fans who have gone on to create the “Charity not PPV” campaign. People have been spurning the PPV matches and instead have contributed £14.95 to charity. English fans feel that since they cannot attend the games, they should be able to watch premier league matches for free.
The outrage brought about by the PPV match scheme pushed the FA to hold a meeting and discuss this issue. In this meeting, it was decided that the PPV system will stay in place for two more matches but will be up for review on 5th November.
Criticism of the PPV Program
Fanatics have been snubbing these PPV matches and sending the £14.95 to charities of their choice. These donations have amounted to about £300,000 to date. The highest amount donated on a single match day was £120,000 raised during the Liverpool vs. Sheffield united game played on Oct 24th.
The view to discard the PPV program is a view taken by both fans and football pundits alike. One of the most acclaimed football pundits, Gary Neville, a former Manchester United right-back, thinks that the Premier League pay-per-view program should be scrapped since most English fans are not watching these matches.
Reports suggest that the FA is most likely to going to cut the PPV rate to £9.95 per match the next time it is reviewed. However, most fans support the idea of a free to air program instead of paying for matches. This is evident across the country. Some fans have promised to continue with the protest even if the PPV rate was slashed to £1.