England 'should not be on pay-per-view'

Click to follow
The Independent Football

A think-tank launched by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has recommended that competitive England matches should not be shown live solely on pay-per-view television because supporters' access to games would be harmed.

A think-tank launched by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has recommended that competitive England matches should not be shown live solely on pay-per-view television because supporters' access to games would be harmed.

"We are not saying against competition or subscription TV, or even pay-per-view in itself," said Rob Blackhurst of the Foreign Policy Centre, an independent body set up to look at various aspects of foreign policy, including sports broadcasting. "What we are saying is it needs to be regulated, there need to be checks on audience threshold [to guarantee wide access to ordinary fans] and there needs to be a price ceiling."

Tonight's World Cup qualifying match is the first ever England international to be screened live on a pay-per-view basis only. The live rights have been bought by the programme provider, u>direct, and supporters wanting to buy the game can only do so if they are Sky Digital subscribers, cable customers or OnDigital subscribers. Sky Digital customers can order the game, at £9.99, on 08709 020800 or via channel 820. Cable customers (NTL and Telewest, for example) can buy via Front Row, while OnDigital customers can buy via ON request. Prices for the latter may differ from the price via Sky.

"A large number" of pubs and clubs will be showing the game, according to a u>direct spokesman and highlights will be shown on BBC's Match of the Day at 10.15pm.

Comments