As previously reported by The Morning Advertiser (The MA), the Premier League revealed a total of 15 matches, five each weekend after the international break, will be broadcast live via Sky Sports and BT Sport in October – roughly half of the competition’s scheduled fixtures.
The League has since announced that fixtures not initially selected for broadcast will be made available via pay-per-view in order to ensure fans of each club can continue to watch their team.
According to reports in The Times, profits from extra fixtures will go to clubs once broadcasters have covered their costs.
However, while home viewers will be asked to fork out £14.95 for outstanding fixtures, it’s been confirmed that pubs which already subscribe to Sky Sports will be granted access to additional fixtures free of charge.
Initially, this means that they will be able to show three extra fixtures in October, Newcastle United v Manchester United at 8pm on Saturday 17 October; Leicester City v Aston Villa at 7.15pm on Sunday 18 October; and West Brom v Burnley at 5.30pm on Monday 19 October.
“We understand these are challenging times for the hospitality sector and live sport plays an important role in helping our customers attract people into their venues and drive revenue,” Simon Raggett, managing director of Sky Business said.
“Watching live sports in a Sky Sports venue is the next best thing to being at the game and to help create even more reasons for guests to visit their venue, and until further notice Sky Sports business customers will get these additional games at no extra cost.
A statement from BT Sport added: "On Friday, the Premier League announced that they will make all games not selected for broadcast available on pay-per-view until the end of October.
"Existing BT Sport Business customers will be able to show these games in their venue via BT Sport Box Office for no additional cost."
The Premier League’s latest fixture announcement comes after its decision to broadcast all 28 scheduled matches in September via existing partners Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and BBC with fans unable to attend games.
However, following a second spike in Covid-19 cases, the Government shelved plans to allow fans to return in small numbers for test events from the start of October.
The 20 top-flight clubs came to an interim decision to introduce pay-per-view for additional fixtures following a meeting on 9 October in order to "enable all fans to continue to watch their teams live".
The move has drawn strong criticism from supporters, with Manchester United captain turned Sky Sports pundit, Gary Neville, condemning the decision as “a really bad move by the Premier League” on Twitter.
As previously reported by The MA, Sky Sports’ pub subscription costs returned to pre-Covid levels on 1 September – though customers who are not authorised to open due to local restrictions will be exempt, according to the broadcaster.
What’s more, BT Sport recently announced its ‘Back to Business’ customer discount which will see a phased increase of partner payments.
While the broadcaster offered its service for free during July, and at a 70% discount in August, its discount dictates that customer payments will increase on a monthly basis until the end of year, when standard charges will resume.
However, while Amazon Prime Video revealed its Premier League fixture allocation on 20 August, the web giant was unable to make high flying Everton’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on 26 September available to pub operators.
“We are working with our partner BT Sport in regards to the plans for the rest of our games for the 2020/21 season,” a spokesperson from Amazon explained.