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Why watching football on TV is so expensive in the UK


Sports channel subscriptions continue to rise in price despite the UK’s cost of living crisis

At the start of the 2022-23 season, the team at Sporticos produced a Premier League Price Index. The United Kingdom came out on top as the most expensive place to watch the EPL, with UK viewers required to fork out more than £600 per year in order to catch all the televised action. 

Believe it or not, UK viewers can’t even watch every Premier League match on TV, as the much-maligned 3pm blackout prevents fans from legally watching the majority of games each weekend.

So, why is watching football on TV so expensive in the UK?

The cost of watching football on TV in the UK

The cheapest way to watch the Premier League in the UK is via a NOW monthly sports pass, a BT Sport monthly pass and an Amazon Prime Video subscription.

The NOW monthly sports pass enables viewers to access the Sky Sports games at a reduced rate, but it’s still £34.99 a month. The BT Sport pass is £29.99 a month, while an Amazon subscription is £8.99 a month. 

Sky Sports broadcasts 128 games per season, BT Sport shows 52, while Amazon airs 20. That means UK viewers can only watch 200 of the 380 EPL matches each season, with each match costing roughly £3 on average.

On top of that, fans often have to pay extra to watch other major European leagues. Be sure to check out our La Liga Price Index and Bundesliga Price Index to learn about the cost of watching Spanish and German football on television. 

Why the cost of watching football on TV is unacceptable for fans

Given the current economic climate in the UK, many football fans simply cannot afford to watch their team on television. With Sky, BT and Amazon holding the rights for the Premier League, more and more fans are being priced out of watching football on TV.

The current broadcasters are expected to strengthen their grip when the 2025-28 EPL rights go up for auction later this year, although names such as Viaplay, DAZN and Apple TV+ could challenge the big three.

It is worth noting that many countries offer streaming services with access to every Premier League game for a fraction of the price, making the current costs all the more frustrating for UK residents.

There is no denying that major reforms are required in order to make live football more accessible to a wider audience. Sadly, it looks as though football fans in the UK will have to wait for a cheaper alternative.

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