Following the UK government’s announcement that the country is facing at least six months of further lockdown restrictions – including delays to getting fans back in stadiums – Premier League clubs are evaluating their broadcast plans for the foreseeable future.
The league initially made all matches in September available for domestic broadcast and has extended this to the first weekend of October, but it is unlikely that this will be carried on through the remainder of the season.
Instead, the Times has reported that the league could allow clubs to make up for a loss of match day revenue by letting fans stream games not being broadcast on Sky Sports and BT Sport.
Season ticket holders, the report said, could be given access for free, but other viewers would pay per match – something we have already seen implemented in the Carabao Cup.
It is understood that clubs do not want to continue the plan to show all matches as this would devalue the broadcast partners’ paid rights, and contribute to a shortfall of £540 million from lost matchday revenue.
One such example of this devaluing is in Asia where a number of parties including Star Sports and Singtel pay a combined £330 million per season for the league. These broadcasters are, as per SportsPro Media, claiming that the increase in later kickoff times is devaluing the content because of time differences.
Asia has been a major growth market for the Premier League in recent years, but the introduction of later matches (many of which are kicking off after 8pm in the UK) has made it more difficult for audiences to watch – something which has not gone unnoticed by broadcasters in that market.
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