Premier League goes pay-per-view with games closed for fans
LONDON (AP) - The Premier League will play pay-per-view in the UK for the first time in 13 years to broadcast some of the games fans are unable to attend due to the pandemic and to generate additional revenue for clubs.
Only 200 of the 380 games per season are broadcast domestically, although global audiences can watch all of them live.
With coronavirus restrictions preventing fans from participating in games since March, the Premier League made every game in every round available live on their home market on Sky, BT, Amazon or the BBC.
But now that the government has stopped efforts to bring fans back due to a surge in coronavirus infections, the clubs have decided on a new temporary system to keep all matches available live in the UK.
For half of the 10 games in each round, viewers must pay an additional fee of around $ 20 to watch them on top of their usual subscriptions to Comcast's own Sky Sports and BT Sport.
The Premier League is already generating £ 5 billion ($ 6.5 billion) domestically and £ 4 billion ($ 5 billion) from overseas deals in the 2019-22 domestic cycle.
Friday's club move was condemned by one of the faces of Sky Sports, former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville who is now a leading expert.
"This is a really bad move by the @premierleague, charging £ 14.95 for individual games that have been shown for free for 6 months," Neville tweeted.
The Premier League said it was a "workaround" so fans can continue to watch their teams live.
"The agreement will be reviewed regularly in consultation with the clubs and in line with any government decision on the return of spectators to the stadiums," the league said. "Football is not the same without fans at games. The Premier League and our clubs." Remain committed to the safe return of fans as soon as possible. "
The Premier League last broadcast a few games on PPV domestically from 2001 to 2007.
Other AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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