Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan isn’t always seen as a man of the people but recently, his proposals for the Premier League to become the “Netflix of football” have got a lot of people sitting up and taking notice.
You don’t need me to tell you that as things stand, viewers are being charged through the nose to watch the Premier League each and every month. With the likes of Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime all getting in on the act, your average fan now needs a number of different subscriptions at a silly cost to watch every game deemed important enough to be broadcast on these shores and even then, the 3pm fixture blackout stops millions from watching many of the matches which interest them.
Of course, in the US and Asia the rights to broadcast games are vastly different but Jordan’s idea centres around the league themselves becoming masters of their own destiny and taking the Premier League product in-house. Should they do so, charging a fee of £8 a month to subscribers and offering the chance to watch each and every kick legally, the money they’d rake in would likely increase further still.
As things stand, millions upon millions of fans refuse to pay the extortionate prices charged by Sky Sports on principle, preferring instead to go down the far less reliable route of streaming the games that interest them but were an all-inclusive service to arrive for a price similar to that of the smash-hit streaming platform Netflix, I have no doubt that subscribers would flock there in their droves.
The chances of such a shift ever taking place are slim to none given the cosy relationship Premier League bosses have with the big-wigs at TV companies across the planet but if we’re honest, the potential of a move to an all-inclusive global streaming platform is gigantic.
Each game is already filmed and commentated on in full, meaning the change would require a tiny financial hit Premier League. Is it ever likely to come to fruition? Unlikely. That doesn’t mean we as the direct consumers of the product can’t dream.