The numbers are in and it does not look good for live sports in the UK. Sky’s early season coverage of the English Premier League has dropped by 20% and similar drops are seen on BT’s Champions League coverage. The question is: are people watching less football or is it the cost of the subscriptions?
For the last few years, TV viewership in the US and the UK has been hit by the cord-cutting movement. Subscribers are flocking to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. They can watch what they want, when they want and on whatever device they want. Until now it was thought that live sports would not be affected by this move away from cable subscriptions.
The primary issue here, based on newspaper interviews with subscribers is the cost of the packages. In some cases, more than one subscription is required to watch all the games. It is even getting more expensive for pubs and bars to pay approximately $1,800 a month to show games. What viewers and fans want is to be able to pay only for the games they want to watch and to be able to watch it from wherever they want to.
People are turning more and more to illegal streams of these games. There are so many online that as soon as broadcasters shut one down, another one pops up. The world is changing and its time that the rights holders realize that things need to change.