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Liverpool ‘leading’ talks over paid access to non-televised games for 2021/22

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Liverpool are ‘leading the arguments’ which would see Premier League games not selected by either Sky or BT made available to fans for a price next season.

The pandemic has forced a change in how football is consumed in the UK, as with no fans currently allowed in stadiums the only access point is through live broadcasting.

And it has led to all games being shown live across various broadcasters since the end of the 2019/20 season, providing unprecedented access with games seemingly shown every single day.

Gone is the 3pm Saturday blackout, but with fans expected to return at the start of next season, discussions are already taking place as to how it will look moving forward.

While many will be in the camp of Premier League football reaching oversaturation, the unlimited access has set a new standard for UK fans that any game at any time can be watched, a luxury afforded around the world.

Traditionalists will no doubt look to restore the ways of old for the 2021/22 season, but with lost revenue to make up throughout the division, there are decisions to be made.

For Liverpool, that comes in the form of ensuring any game not selected for coverage on Sky or BT are made available to fans for a price, an argument they ‘have led’, as per the Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe.

Matchday, Liverpool lineup pre-match at Anfield. TV camera. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is not often that the Reds are not selected by the UK’s leading providers, with eight of Liverpool‘s 29 league games before the 2019/20 season was postponed not picked up.

But it is a battleground, with Liverpool an in-demand side they would be expected to bring in a leading share of the revenue and other clubs would be eager to continue sharing the profits as a collective.

As Bascome eloquently puts it, it will be a case of “one set of self-interest capitalists disagrees with another group of self-interested capitalists.”

The pay-per-view system was not one which was well received in 2020/21, scrapped just weeks after it was introduced in part thanks to an eye-watering £14.95 price-tag, leading fanbases across the country to instead raise valuable funds for their local communities.

And it will no doubt be contentious once more if the Premier League and its clubs do not work through the problem to find a solution with the game’s key stakeholders at the heart of it.


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