If there’s one thing Britain does well, it's sport. Most of the world's most popular sports were created in Britain. We have such a rich sporting history that we really should be proud of yet watching sport is so expensive. I’m not just talking about going to the stadium but also watching on the TV.
The Premier League is the world's best domestic football league. The standard is out of this world. Even smaller teams like Luton Town have some brilliant players and have more than held themselves in the league. But watching the Premier League is far too expensive. Football was always a game for the working class yet they’re being priced out of watching their team whether that be in person or at home. To legally watch Premier League football at home you’d need not one but two broadcast packages. Most of the games are on Sky Sports but some are also on TNT Sport (previously known as BT Sport). Sky Sports starts at £37 per month, a truly ridiculous amount of money. The price of TNT Sport depends. If you have BT Broadband it's £18 per month on top of your package for everyone else it's usually £29.99 but Sky and Virgin can change the price should they wish. That means you’d be paying essentially £67 to legally watch the premier league games available in the UK. There’s also the odd Amazon Prime week where all midweek fixtures are shown on Amazon instead, that’s another £8.99pm to factor in.
That price shows no value for money and really does “take the mickey” out of UK football fans. For that amount of money, you’d at minimum expect to be able to watch every game but that’s not the case. When football was first being televised fans and clubs were sceptical. There were worries it would cause attendance at games to drop. A law was passed to counteract the potential of falling attendance due to televised games. Any game on a Saturday that kicks off at 3 pm cannot be shown legally in the UK. Other countries can watch the game, however, through whichever broadcaster provides it in that country.
There’s no wonder so many people turn to illegally streaming Premier League football. The “dodgy” fire stick has become a very common occurrence. Whilst I don’t own one myself I do know plenty of people that do. When you can pay the same amount for a yearly subscription on these cracked fire sticks as you would do monthly to do it legally then why would you spend so much extra money? Whilst illegally streaming games is definitely against the law there is another way to watch the Premier League that is more of a grey area than against the law. Other countries' streaming services offer prices that are much better value for money.
Over in the US the streaming service ‘Peacock’ shows most premier league games. At around $6 a month, this is a very cheap streaming service, especially when compared to other platforms like Netflix. Whilst you can’t buy a peacock subscription in the UK there is a way to legally purchase Peacock. You can use a VPN (virtual private network) to make your device believe it's in a different country. Should you set your VPN to the US then you’ll be able to subscribe to Peacock and watch more premier league games than you would be able to by spending the full £67 on Sky Sports and TNT Sports. This isn’t against the law. VPNs are legal and many cyber security experts would tell you to purchase one regardless of using it to watch sports but more for online security.
There are talks the premier league may eventually move away from traditional cable operators like Sky and create its own streaming platform. With the extraordinary prices Sky and TNT charge UK customers, this really needs to happen sooner rather than later. Whilst the premier league is a fantastic, modern and innovative league, its TV broadcasters are the opposite, providing the bare minimum for as much money as possible. It doesn’t suit football. This is supposed to be a working class sport yet fans are priced out of not only the stadium but also watching it at home.