Via an announcement on their website today, the Premier has announced that their controversial decision to broadcast Premier League matches via a pay-per-view model in the United Kingdom has been put on hold for now.
The EPL introduced the PPV model in October, presumably as a way to recover a portion of the matchday revenue lost by fans not being allowed in stadiums due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the model, fans have had to pay £14.95 for each match they wanted to watch, on top of already paying subscription fees for the various television and streaming services required to watch matches normally.
When it was announced in October, there was a significant amount of backlash as supporters rightly felt cheated to be forced to pay even more money to continue watching matches. Many fans boycotted the PPV model altogether, choosing to make donations to charity rather than pay to watch matches.
Supporters groups from all 20 Premier League clubs boycotted the PPV decision, and the charitable giving they suggested instead has led to hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations to various organizations. With the extreme unpopularity of the policy, the announcement that the league has reconsidered is very welcome news.
However, there is no guarantee this won’t pop up again in the new year. The announcement only ensures no additional costs for watching matches through the holiday and new year period. According to the statement:
“The agreement will be reviewed in the new year following consultation with clubs, broadcast partners and in line with any decisions made by Government regarding the return of spectators to stadiums.”
So, while this is cause for celebration, and it’s definitely a win for supporters in the UK, this fight may not be quite over.