Premier League TV sports package rip-off – some fans pay £35 a game, others just £10 | Personal Finance | Finance
TV sports packages cost the same regardless of whether you support high-fliers like Liverpool and Manchester City, or teams lower down the table who typically attract less coverage. Fans of the big clubs will see more than 40 games over the season. Others will only see a dozen or so.
It will cost at least £420 to watch all televised matches across Sky Sports, BT Sports and Amazon Prime.
The cheapest subscription package to watch all Sky and BT games is £41 a month, while Amazon Prime Video’s streaming-only service is £8.99 a month. This means that fans wanting access to every televised game during the season will pay £427.98 from August to May.
In return, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City fans can expect to see their teams play in 41 games, including European fixtures, at a cost of just over £10.44 a game.
They are set to get the most televised matches in the Premier League with 11 more games shown on average, and they will also feature in European competitions like the Champions League.
Manchester United fans are likely to see 38 games, with the average cost £11.26.
Yet Southampton, Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest fans can only expect to see their teams feature 12 times, at a cost of a punishing £35.67 per game.
Thats more than three times as Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City fans.
To help break down the cost of being a sports fan, comparison site Uswitch has created a Football Subs Index.
This reveals the number of TV appearances expected for each top-flight team in 2022-23, to show which club’s supporters will get the most matches for their money.
Uswitch’s TV and streaming expert Catherine Hiley says: “We wanted to show people what it really costs to be a supporter, and how to find the best value ways to watch.”
The average cost of following a Premier League side through the season using Sky, BT and Amazon is £21.93 a game.
Historically, clubs who have just come up from The Championship are picked for fewer TV fixtures than established Premier League teams and title contenders.
This means their supporters pay more per match to see them in action. Last season’s newcomers, Watford, Norwich and Brentford, all finished well down the table for the number of games broadcast.
Arsenal are expected to get the joint-most TV appearances this season. The north London club, which had 29 games televised in last year’s Premier League, are one of the favourites for the Europa League.
This will guarantee them at least six extra live fixtures, and double that if they make it to the final.
READ MORE: Arsenal All or Nothing series: UK release, free stream, how to watch
A quarter of Brits who subscribe to football channels believe they are the most important part of their pay-TV deal, but one in seven is thinking about cancelling as the cost is too high.
Fans could save money by selecting the matches that interest them most and taking advantage of special offers, as the Premier League releases monthly TV fixtures in batches, Hiley said. “Amazon Prime Video is showing a week of Premier League fixtures in October and December, so you are guaranteed to see your team in action twice by subscribing then.”
New customers can also halve their costs by taking out a free trial in October. “Just remember to cancel before November, when the league takes a winter break for the World Cup in Qatar,” Hiley says.
Champions League fans only need a BT Sport subscription. “But if you only follow the Premier League, Sky shows the most live games and also offers free match highlights for all the fixtures online.”
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For teams that features only rarely, fans could save by using NOW TV and BT App memberships, Hiley said.
“If your team is near the bottom of our Football Subs Index, using NOW TV and the BT passes instead could give you the flexibility to swoop in on cut-price deals mid-season.”
She added: “It also means you can cancel as soon as the final whistle blows in May, in case your club’s stay in the Premier League is a brief one.”
Almost 6.5 million Brits have a sports package, 45 percent of total pay-TV subscribers, while 1.6 million households are signed up for both Sky Sports and BT Sports.
This season Sky Sports will feature 128 of the 380 Premier League matches, while 52 will be shown on BT Sport, which also has exclusive rights to show the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference.
Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video will stream 20 Premier League games split between October and December.
UK sports channels cannot show all the league fixtures because of the blackout rule, which prohibits the broadcasting of Saturday 3pm games to protect match attendances.