Hey Sports Tech Fans,
The Premier League have announced that non televised games will be made available in the UK and Ireland via pay per view.
The cost will be £14.95 per game and will run until on an initial trial period.
Needless to say the idea has gone down like a lead balloon with fans.
The televised games are typically the bigger games featuring the bigger sides, so fans of smaller teams are feeling a little bit hard done by with the rather excessive cost per game.
With fans of a lot of teams still on the hook for season tickets, despite not being able to attend games, the Premier League missed a trick in allowing season ticket holders to get a reduced rate or even a free pass in lieu of being able to attend the game in person.
When you look at PPV events like boxing, the UFC or WWE, it is quite typical for it to be headline events with lots of hype going into each PPV event. These events typically see groups of friends congregating in one friends house to enjoy the action and sharing the cost.
The Premier League has again missed a trick to launch their own service to facilitate the streaming of the non-televised games in my opinion.
Everything is there for them to launch a service with technology partners to allow them to plant a stake in the ground of going direct to consumer. They could have launched a package at £15 per month for games which weren’t picked by their TV partners in the UK and Ireland, SKY, BT, Amazon and Premier Sports.
The pricing strategy is a massive miscalculation in the current climate of people losing their jobs, being laid off temporarily or in doubt for many more.
The reaction on social media to the announcement is almost entirely negative and many have stated the complete disconnect between football and the ordinary fan, especially when sports is suffering so badly because of the lack of fans.
Hashtags for piracy have also been trending which should come as no surprise.
With 227 games of the 380 games falling under existing Sky, BT and Amazon subscriptions, fans would have to shell out a further £1,868.75 to watch every PPV game, on top of the of the £744 a person would have to spend on subscriptions over the 8 month season.
Contrast that to the NFL where you can watch every game for £150 per year!
Premier League sides spent £1.2 billion on transfer fees and a lot more in wages for these players and agents during the transfer window. Fan perception is crucial and this launch is a disaster from a PR perspective.
This week we saw Arsenal spend £45 million in a lump sum to sign a player rumored to be on £200,000 a week, and having told 55 members of staff they had to be let go to save on costs.
The one that grabbed the headlines all around the world, was the letting go of the team mascot, Gunnersaurus, who realistically speaking can’t have been on that much money.
A GoFundMe was set up and has raised £11,649 at the time of writing.
Mesut Ozil, a player who is on £350,000 per week and has become an outcast at the club for poor performance and perceived attitude has pledged to pay the mascot’s wages. A PR win for a player who is on a massive salary and not actually playing for Arsenal at the moment.
This was a PR disaster for Arsenal and the PPV announcement is a PR disaster for the Premier League.
Making the games available is the right thing to do but the pricing and structure is seen by many as yet another price gouging of the fans.
Many fans have indicated they would be cancelling existing subscriptions and hashtags for piracy streaming trending, it really does fly in the face of putting the fan first and trying to tackle the piracy issue.
This won’t be the last we have heard of this story and I would expect a climb down on the price at the very least.
It will be interesting to see if fans follow through on their declaration of cancelling subscriptions in any real number.
But one thing for sure, pirates will be rubbing their hands with glee in attracting new users.
I know writing this wont have an impact, but please, please, please, Premier League launch a streaming service and use this as an opportunity to actually put the fans at the heart of the game and deliver them an affordable service!
Have a great sporting weekend,