Upcoming Sheffield United matches against Fulham and Liverpool have both been moved for pay-per-view.
In a controversial decision, the Premier League announced on Friday that games not already picked for TV by Sky Sports and BT Sport, will now cost a £14.95 one-off fee to watch.
The 20 clubs in the division voted on the decision, with The Daily Mail reporting Leicester City were the only ones against it.
It means the Blades, along with 18 other sides, all backed charging supporters to watch. With fans not allowed in stadiums currently because of coronavirus restrictions, it’s the only way for them to see their side live.
United’s first fixture back after the international break against Fulham, has subsequently been moved to Sunday, October 18 at 12pm. The following week, their game at Liverpool has switched to 8pm on October 24.
The first will be shown on BT Sport Box Office, with the latter on Sky Sports Box Office. All of the money will go directly to the clubs to help with the loss of match-day revenue.
Why Sheffield United fans can expect to pay more on pay-per-view
These pay-per-view fees are outside of any sport subscriptions supporters may have. For instance, those that have a Sky Sports or BT Sport package will still have to pay a £14.95 fee for those fixtures on Box Office.
Which could be particularly bad news for Blades fans wanting to watch their team. Yorkshire Live have crunched the numbers and history suggests, United supporters could pay three times more than those who follow Manchester United, for instance.
That’s because more established clubs are picked more often to be shown on TV. Last season, Man United led the way with 23 picks. The Blades were joint lowest with 10 – alongside Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton.
Over a 38-game campaign, Red Devils fans would therefore pay £119.60 with pay-per-view. For those who support the Blades, that jumps up to £373.75.
It therefore makes the club’s decision to back this new format, all the more disappointing.