Ashley argued on Monday that the £14.95 access fee fixed for Premier League fans to pay before they can watch their favorite clubs live through BT Sport Box Office and Sky Sports Box Office, is too much. He is advocating that the league should review the price downward to £4.95 per match until Christmas.
The league alongside their broadcast partners agreed to transmit some selected Premier League matches to viewers who have paid an extra £14.95 to their regular Sky Sports or BT Sports subscription. Those who pay this fee would then have access to watch such selected matches via BT Sport Box Office or Sky Sports Box Office.
This innovation, which the Premier League said is temporal, is to ensure that fans of the league continue to watch Premier League matches live especially this period where football fans are not allowed into match venues to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It is also to generate revenue for clubs that have been losing revenue because matches are being played behind closed doors.
But most Premier League fans are insisting that the amount fixed for the PPV is too much while some are insisting that the entire system should be scrapped. This debate is one of the things that influenced the Premier League to organize a stakeholder’s meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 27.
Mike Ashley who is one of the stakeholders wants his colleagues to reconsider their stand on the PPV and probably do a downward review of the access fee.
“Charging £14.95 for single televised matches in the current climate it is not acceptable to any football fan”, Ashley said via a statement issued on Monday.
“Supporters have overwhelmingly rejected this offer and the Premier League must now act.
“Why not make it much more accessible at £4.95 per match until Christmas?
“The Government should waive VAT on the above 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% would be retained by Premier League and 50% would go to the football pyramid below.”
So far, nine Premier League matches have been transmitted via the pay-per-view system amidst the agitation of fans against the system. Manchester United Premier League match against Newcastle United on October 17 which ended 1-4 in favor of Manchester United was the first match in the league that was transmitted under the Pay-Per-View system.