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01st Jun 2024

Lib Dems call for Premier League football matches to be shown for free

Ryan Price

The party want to “bring the people’s game back to the people.”

The Liberal Democrats have called for Premier League football matches to be shown free of charge as part of their general election campaign.

Former party leader Tim Farron revealed the proposed policy during an interview with Sky News, and added that the party want to “bring the people’s game back to the people”.

The Lib Dems have had an interesting week on the campaign trail, with current leader Ed Davey taking part in some paddle boarding in Lake Windermere to highlight the party’s policy on the sewerage crisis.

They also took aim at the Conservatives, claiming that the party have “effectively legalised littering” and stating that “fines for littering and fly-tipping are so low that people are being let off scot-free”.

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND – MAY 23: Ed Davey stands in front of Lib Dem supporters in Cheltenham, England. Rishi Sunak called the UK general election for July 4th, yesterday. The Liberal Democrats currently sit fourth in the polls behind the Reform Party. (Photo by Geoff Caddick/Getty Images)

They caught everyone’s attention just a few days ago when they outlined their ambitious plan to provide free school meals to all primary school children in England.

The Lib Dems said the plan would begin with an immediate extension of free school meals to all 900,000 children living in poverty who currently miss out.

The second phase would then see all primary school children receiving free school meals as the public finances stabilise.

Their latest promise, however, is certainly their most interesting one.

They plan to introduce new legislation that would see all Premier League football matches be shown free of charge.

Currently, all top-flight games across the season are streamed and aired by a variety of broadcasters, including Sky Sports, TNT Sports, Amazon Prime and Virgin Media.

Speaking to Sky’s Gareth Barlow, Farron said: “Our proposal is to amend the broadcasting rights and make sure that a minimum of ten Premier League games each season are available free to view.

Barlow asked the former leader if this desire had been communicated to the likes of BBC, ITV and Channel 4, to which Farron replied: “We have some 380 games in the Premier League every season.

“If you create a market where, lets say a minimum of ten games a season have to be free-to-air, then of course that market then becomes something which is a different order than the other three hundred plus games that will be still bid for by the likes of your employer for example. I’m certain that is a market that the main broadcasters will be interested in,” he added.

“It’s worth saying that in Spain, the La Liga do more than this every week. There has to be, by law, one La Liga fixture on free to air TV. There was a time where this was not abnormal. Until the early 90’s free-to-air top-flight football was available every week. Since then, we’ve allowed our game to be commercialised.

“Let’s do something now that brings the people’s game back to the people.”

Electoral Calculus produced the first general election MPR Poll in seats earlier this morning.

According to the election predictions and data site, Labour will take 476 seats, the Conservatives will take 66, the Lib Dems will take 59 and the Green Party will have 2.

It predicts that the Reform Party will have zero seats after the July 4th general election.

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