Stamford Bridge welcomes Virgin Media's #MoreBalls campaign
21st December 2015
Virgin Media was in attendance at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to oversee the next leg in our campaign to reform the way the Premier League sells live TV rights.
We served up #MoreBalls meatballs for fans attending the Chelsea v Sunderland clash - one of the 226 games that aren’t televised live for UK-based football fans.
Our very own cartering van caused a hugely positive buzz among hungry fans, and we ended up dishing out around 600 portions of festive #MoreBalls meatballs.
See the day's highlights here
Our #MoreBalls campaign
The way the Premier League auctions live TV rights drives up the price by selling on an exclusive basis but allows only 41% of all games to be televised live.
It’s a process fundamentally skewed against the interests of football fans.
So why are we against the auction process (as it stands)?
Competition: The Premier League justifies its auction structure through a self-determined exemption from competition law. To maintain this exemption, it needs to demonstrate that consumers are benefiting. We believe they aren’t.
Rising prices: Since 1992 the price of Premier League TV rights has risen by more than 4,000%. The last auction raised £5.14bn, a 71% increase on the previous auction. These costs are ultimately borne by consumers. A recent survey of 1,000 fans by Virgin Media showed that two-thirds believe the rising cost of Premier League live TV rights means they will pay too much to watch live football.
Fans are missing games: Fans are unable to watch their favourite teams live on TV because the Premier League does not allow games to be broadcast at 3pm on Saturdays. Our survey showed that 77% want more live Premier League games on TV.
Fans living abroad get a better deal: The Premier League allows broadcasters across the world - from Algeria to Iran - to televise all games live on TV. But not in the UK; the home of football.