8th August 2016
Virgin Media today welcomed news that the Premier League will make more matches available to be broadcast live on TV.
For nearly two years the ultrafast broadband and TV company has campaigned on behalf of fans for the Premier League to lift the ban on some live games being broadcast on TV.
The Premier League has now agreed that an extra 22 matches will be shown live on TV for the start of the 2019-20 season. This builds on the additional 14 live matches that the Premier League made available for the 2016-19 seasons. This means that the majority of mid-week and Bank Holiday matches will be available to watch live on TV.
“Football fans will now be able to watch more live action on TV,” said Tom Mockridge, CEO of Virgin Media. “As the only TV provider to offer all the available games, we are pleased that after a two year campaign the Premier League has agreed to offer more TV games.”
Virgin Media’s #MoreBalls campaign began in September 2014 when the company made a formal complaint to Ofcom about the way the live rights are auctioned. Virgin Media argued that the way the Premier League sells live TV rights is against competition rules and against fans’ interests. In particular Virgin Media pointed to the spiralling costs of the TV rights and the fact that fans are unable to watch some live matches on TV.
In November 2014 Ofcom launched a formal investigation into the Premier League. In October 2015, Virgin Media-commissioned research showed that three quarters of fans want more live games available on TV.
Ofcom has now announced that the Premier League will make an extra 22 live games available for broadcast for the start of the 2019-20 season. The regulator has decided not to continue with its investigation at this time citing “administrative priorities”.