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27th Oct 2020

Premier League PPV match scheme to be reviewed after international break

Wayne Farry

The decision to lock Premier League matches behind a paywall has, shockingly, proven to be an unpopular one

Premier League clubs are set to review the decision to place some games each weekend on a pay-per-view services, after fan backlash and what have been described as “disastrous” viewing figures.

Three games received fewer than 10,000 viewers and none got more than 100,000, according to the Daily Mail.

According to Sky Sports News, discussions will begin after the November international break over whether to continue with the PPV broadcasts, end them, or reduce the price per fixture.

From the moment the move to PPV was announced, there was widespread backlash from almost all areas of football – from managers to supporters.

Fans of a number of clubs, including Everton, Newcastle and Liverpool, created initiatives to boycott the broadcasts and instead the fee (£14.95) to food banks in their respective areas.

Earlier this week, opponents of the paywall got an unlikely ally in the form of Newcastle United’s perennially unpopular owner Mike Ashley.

He said: “I am calling on the Premier League to immediately act and review its current pay-per-view arrangements for live matches in the UK.

“Charging £14.95 for single televised matches in the current climate it is not acceptable to any football fan.

“Supporters have overwhelmingly rejected this offer and the Premier League must now act.

“Why not make it much more accessible at £4.95 per match until Christmas?”

Should the decision be made to end the PPV program, it will be welcomed by supporters and, likely, broadcasters BT Sport and Sky Sports, whom it has been said have been left disappointed with the reception of PPV