It’s always been fairly clear that the footballing authorities don’t actually care about the fans who have attended games for years, as long as they can keep selling the rights for increased amounts each time and the product is still attractive then they won’t see a problem.
Amazon may have been getting some stick for providing yet another subscription service for fans to dig into their pockets for, but you can’t really blame the individual broadcasters. They are simply going for the rights that have been made available and want to compete to show they can be the best provider – in theory that could be a good thing.
The real problem comes with the costs to average fans, can your everyday family really justify multiple subscriptions to watch football?
This protest banner appeared at the Crystal Palace game tonight and shows some fans aren’t happy:
— Football Away Days (@AwayDays_) December 3, 2019
It’s not even the case that you can select a subscription to suit your own tastes and follow one particular league. For example, fans of Scottish football would need to subscribe to Sky, BT Sport and Premier Sports if they want to watch every league and cup game, and that situation will be similar for English fans too.
It also feels like contracts are awarded on the money offered rather than the quality of output. It leaves fans having to shell out crazy amounts of money just to watch the sport that they love, but often with minimal effort going into the actual broadcast.
It might be good for the Premier League balance sheet right now, but there will come a point where the fans simply decide to stop paying. The whole league is built on the promise of TV money continuing to come in at an exceptionally high rate, if that crashes, then some clubs are going to find themselves in a serious financial mess.