For the first five or six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, all Premier League games were shown on either BBC, Sky Sports, Amazon Prime or BT Sport. If you wanted to watch every single game then you would’ve had to pay a substantial fee for subscriptions which, by itself, isn’t the best way to convince fans to watch.
Now, however, due to the volume of games that are set to be played between now and May, a decision has been made that they can’t all be shown on those platforms. It’s the definition of an outrageous decision, but things got even worse when it was announced that the non-Sky/BT/Amazon/BBC games would be shown on Box Office for a fee of £14.95.
The fact that they’re trying to exploit fans in this way is disgusting but we can’t pretend like it’s at all surprising, because it’s not. The aim of the game should be to entertain the masses and put a smile on the faces of the supporters – not tear away every penny they’ve got when they’re already forking out for the initial subscription fees.
The Premier League themselves made this decision, according to reports, and that’s about the least shocking thing we’ve heard all year. The channels themselves are bad enough but the league lives for power and lives for money and it really is as simple as that.
“I think the intent of the Premier League to put these games on was to get some money moving into some of the clubs and leagues that are struggling and I think that’s a good intent, and that’s reflected in the price that they’re charging us,” said Marc Allera, the CEO of BT’s consumer division, a company that has been bad enough themselves during this chaos.
“The vast majority of that £14.95 is the cost price to us of that game. Our objective is to help the Premier League and the football ecosystem. Whether it’s a few thousand or a few hundred thousand it is still money that is going back into football and we’re pleased to be playing our part in that.”
You can still go and put some money down on the betting page as we await the return of the Premier League this weekend but that’s not really the point here. The point is that fans need to take a stand and make it crystal clear that the demand just isn’t going to be there. Unfortunately plenty of supporters are still going to fork out the cash and until that stops, they won’t stop taking advantage of us all.
Capitalism is an evil thing at the best of times and if you needed any further proof of that, then here you go. We’ll all continue to enjoy the fact that Premier League football is allowed to continue as this pandemic goes on but we all have to understand that the league isn’t full of saviours and heroes. We wish it was, especially behind the scenes, but that isn’t the case.