The TV rights in England are set for a big change. The Premier League is looking to launch a Netflix-style service for all top flight football making every single game live and available to watch online.The move would see the Premier League follow the NFL and WWE in streaming their content online for their fans.
For a long time the Premier League has needed saving from illegal streaming. Like the film industry, the Premier League face an important challenge in how to fight bootleg copies of their product. Cinemas are losing people in droves due to illegal downloading and Sky have faced a similar battle and in 2017, recorded their lowest ratings since records began. Current measures of taking down sites have proved ineffective, as new sites pop up in an instant and the details shared immediately over social media. A report by BBC Sport has revealed that a third of football fans illegally stream football matches in the UK. Whilst that seems very high to me – most fans in their 20’s stream games but I highly doubt football fans in their 40’s and 50’s are searching on illegal sites for a stream of a Huddersfield vs Fulham, but it does indicate the growing change in how we consume football matches. Clearly fans are turning away and going online.
At roughly £90 for both Sky and BT have a guess why that might be?
The consumer of today has changed. Supporters want to watch every game, all the time. Manchester City’s vital game away at Everton was not shown on any UK broadcaster which infuriated Premier League fans desperate to keep up with the title race.
A move away from the likes of BT and Sky Sports, could be a huge boost for football fans who could save considerably with the current cost of both subscriptions close to £100 a month. From next season Amazon will also join the mix. The move to have every game shown live in the UK has been long overdue. Overseas fans can already see every Premier League game live on TV giving them greater access to our game than we do.
The Premier League has been looking for new opportunities to increase its finances since its income from domestic TV rights decreased at the last auction. From 2019-20 the cost of three seasons will be £4.6bn which dropped from £5.1bn for a similar period which was agreed back in 2016-17.
It won’t be long before UEFA follows suit and moves the Champions League and Europa League over to a similar service. Fans should rejoice, all Premier League football is about to be available and cheaper too. The game is about to change.