December 3, 2020

Pay-per-view football: Disastrous viewing figures where fans had to pay £5.50 per goal – Daily Mail

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-8948569/Pay-view-football-Disastrous-viewing-figures-fans-pay-5-50-goal.html

After much scrutiny, widespread anger and supporters’ protest, the Premier League finally made the long-awaited decision to officially axe its ill-fated Pay-Per-View football model.

Running from mid October to early November, the system was intended to maintain the broadcasting profits of top level football, in the wake of supporters still being cast away from stadiums amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But now, after embarrassing viewing figures and widespread rejections across all fan bases, the idea was pulled and the Premier League reverted back to its previous format of all matches being aired.

After weeks of controversy the Premier League has finally abandoned pay-per-view games

After weeks of controversy the Premier League has finally abandoned pay-per-view games

After weeks of controversy the Premier League has finally abandoned pay-per-view games

Broadcasters were permitted to screen some games on box office by charging a premium

Broadcasters were permitted to screen some games on box office by charging a premium

Broadcasters were permitted to screen some games on box office by charging a premium

A total of 20 matches played out on the paid-for channels, with many of the arranged fixtures for PPV scheduling seen as mundane, and as far from ‘box office’ as possible.

But, after all is said and done, did supporters in any way get value for their money?

Sportsmail has crunched some of the numbers involved, to determine exactly what fans were paying for.

Taking statistics as an average, across the 20 PPV matches supporters got a return of 2.7 goals per game.

Given the cost of match purchase, roughly £5.50 was being paid out per games in order for fans to see a goal.

When taking into account some of the previous fixtures however, its easy to see how the figures can skew and fans can be left feeling even more aggrieved.

A 2.7 goals-per-game average is quite reasonable, but three games alone brought in 18 goals.

Fans had to fork out £14.95 for games, despite many having paid for their season tickets

Fans had to fork out £14.95 for games, despite many having paid for their season tickets

Fans had to fork out £14.95 for games, despite many having paid for their season tickets

Pundit Gary Neville frequently voiced his objections to the system on social media

Pundit Gary Neville frequently voiced his objections to the system on social media

Pundit Gary Neville frequently voiced his objections to the system on social media

FAN PROTESTS SEE PROCEEDS SENT TO CHARITY OVER PPV

Supporters groups up and down the country made the collective stance that they would not be funding the PPV system, and would instead refuse to watch their beloved clubs and donating the screen fee to charity.

When Manchester United and Newcastle faced each other, Toon fans donated £16,000 for hungry families instead of paying.

Leeds fans did the same when they played Aston Villa, raising £57,000. After nine matches of PPV football, around £120,000 had been raised from around the country.

Liverpool fans stepped up to the plate to raise £120,000 alone for the North Liverpool foodbank, rather than pay to watch their side beat Sheffield United.

Manchester City fans contributed £25,000 collectively with fans of their neighbours United to a local foodband, despite not being penciled in to feature as a PPV broadcast side. 

In north London, before Tottenham had even had their first paid-for match, against Brighton, broadcast, supporters had already raised over £20,000 for charity in the capital.

The opening weekend of PPV saw Chelsea draw 3-3 with Southampton and Manchester United beat Newcastle 4-1. Two match-weeks later Southampton were in action again and defeated Aston Villa 4-3.

Fixtures like these boosted the goal yield of the PPV clashes, with Saints fans in particular perhaps feeling like at least some value was being returned.

But the same run of 20 paid-for matches also included two goalless stalemates for Burnley, with the Clarets only featuring once more… when they were hammered 3-0 at home by Chelsea.

In all other Premier League games this season, as a collective, there have been 3.3 goals per match on average.

PPV broadcast games actually saw teams shoot more often, and have fractionally more efforts on target.

The 20 matches averaged 25 shots with 9.3 on target. 

To date the rest of the Premier League games have contained an average of 22.6 shots with 8.5 being on target.

The straw that broke the camels back however came in two forms; the first being poor and rapidly falling numbers, the other being supporters’ protests and the damaging publicity this caused.

Released figures showed the average number of purchases was 39,000, fractionally ahead of the Premier League’s target.

The footballing body had placed down an easy target of making roughly the same amount of purchases as the average Premier League attendance, to equal the number of match goers.

Still, the numbers were seen to be dwindling and forecast only to get worse as heavy momentum was thrown behind fan initiatives to instead donate the cash to locate charities throughout the pandemic.

Certain teams, such as the likes of Everton and Manchester City, did not get caught up in the PPV schedule during the selection phase.

Everton did not have to play in a single game that was shown on a Pay-Per-View channel

Everton did not have to play in a single game that was shown on a Pay-Per-View channel

Everton did not have to play in a single game that was shown on a Pay-Per-View channel

But Burnley, meanwhile, had a total of three matches that were moved to a pay-for basis

But Burnley, meanwhile, had a total of three matches that were moved to a pay-for basis

But Burnley, meanwhile, had a total of three matches that were moved to a pay-for basis

West Brom and Fulham played in the most PPV matches - both featured in four games each

West Brom and Fulham played in the most PPV matches - both featured in four games each

West Brom and Fulham played in the most PPV matches – both featured in four games each

Nonetheless, supporters of both sides still ensured to make the gesture of donating to charities, as an act of solidarity with other supporters clubs who were taking a stand.

Nowhere were fans more outraged by the £14.95 charge than in Liverpool. Supporters raised more than £120,000 for North Liverpool food bank after their team’s 2-1 victory against Sheffield United

Likewise, Leeds fans donated £57,000 instead of paying to watch their side win 3-0 at Aston Villa.

Premier League clubs, who originally endorsed the scheme 19 votes to one with Leicester the only objectors, came to regard the overall process as an embarrassment after fans railed against it having forked out for season tickets and TV subscriptions on top of the PPV charge. 

Newly promoted Fulham and West Brom were worst hit by the scheme, with both sides featuring in PPV action on four occasions.

Fans of both sides would have had to fork out a total of £59.80 if they wanted to see each of the fixtures their teams were involved in.

Of Fulham’s four matches, the Cottagers lost two, drew one and picked up their first win of the season… as it happens, against West Brom.

Of West Brom’s four games, supporters had to endure the defeat to Fulham along with a home loss to Tottenham, a goalless stalemate with Burnley and a 1-1 draw at Brighton. 

ALL PPV MATCHES PLAYED

Sat Oct 17: Chelsea 3-3 Southampton BT Sport Box Office

Sat Oct 17: Newcastle 1-4 Man United Sky Sports Box Office

Sun Oct 18: Sheffield United 1-1 Fulham BT Sport Box Office

Sun Oct 18: Leicester 0-1 Aston Villa Sky Sports Box Office

Mon Oct 19: West Brom 0-0 Burnley Sky Sports Box Office

Fri Oct 23: Aston Villa 0-3 Leeds BT Sport Box Office

Sat Oct 24: Fulham 1-2 Crystal Palace BT Sport Box Office

Sat Oct 24: Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United – Sky Sports Box

Sun Oct 25: Arsenal 0-1 Leicester – Sky Sports Box Office

Mon Oct 26: Brighton 1-1 West Brom Sky Sports Box Office 

Fri Oct 30: Wolves 2-0 Crystal Palace– BT Sport Box Office

Sat Oct 31: Burnley 0-3 Chelsea – BT Sport Box Office

Sun Nov 1: Aston Villa 3-4 Southampton – Sky Sports Box Office

Sun Nov 1: Tottenham 2-1 Brighton – Sky Sports Box Office

Mon Nov 2: Fulham 2-0 West Brom– Sky Sports Box Office

Fri Nov 6: Brighton 0-0 Burnley – Sky Sports Box Office

Sat Nov 7: Crystal Palace 4-1 Leeds – BT Sport Box Office

Sat Nov 7: West Ham 1-0 Fulham – BT Sport Box Office

Sun Nov 8: West Brom 0-1 Tottenham – Sky Sports Box Office

Sun Nov 8: Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa – Sky Sports Box Office