Premier League to review pay-per-view matches policy in coming weeks

The Premier League will review its stance on pay-per-view (PPV) matches in the coming weeks after the Premier League shareholders’ meeting took place on Tuesday.

During October, matches not initially selected for regular TV broadcast have been made available on a pay-per-view basis accessed via Sky Sports’ and BT Sport’s existing Box Office platforms at £14.95 each.

The Premier League announced the decision following Government-imposed restrictions on supporters attending matches, which mean all games currently take place behind closed doors.

Prior to the meeting, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley had called on the Premier League to urgently review its current pay-per-view arrangements, which Sky Sports and BT Sport deliver at cost price, with the majority of revenue going back into Premier League clubs.

Ashley had suggested the price for games be reduced with the Government removing the VAT for supporters who purchase matches in the final months of 2020 and with more of the revenue distributed to the Football League.

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But a final decision on the future of PPV matches and how much will be charged to watch them in future is not now expected until after the next international break in mid-November.

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

“The Government should waive VAT on the pay-per-view matches so that as many of those who are unable to attend matches in person can at least watch their team.

“The profit from the above reduced-price pay-per-view option, I would suggest that 50 per cent would be retained by the Premier League and 50 per cent would go to the football pyramid below.

“As a club, Newcastle United did vote in favour of the pay-per-view proposal, but to be clear, this was because there were no realistic or any viable alternatives put forward to enable supporters to watch matches.”

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