Premier League clubs have vowed to cap prices for away tickets at £30 in a bid to bolster match attendance.
From next season, fans travelling away to support their club will benefit from a reduced asking price to offset the extra expenses of travel and accommodation.
The new deal, unanimously agreed by the top flight’s 20 clubs, replaces the older ASI (Away Supporters Initiative) which saw clubs agree to apply a range of discounts to tickets for visiting fans, and will be in place during the next three seasons.
Related: Sky Sports scores rights to 3pm kick off highlights ‘til 2019, How to get Sky Sports and BT SportSince the ASI was launched in the 2013/14 season, there’s been a steady 9 per cent increase in away support, contributing to record attendance levels, which clubs hope to improve on with this new price cap.
Match attendance figures are the reason why the Premier League insists on maintaining a broadcasting ban on Saturday games that kick off at 3pm. At the urging of Virgin Media, telecoms and media regulator Ofcom is currently looking at the way rights to Premier League games are sold.
At yesterday’s Media & Telecoms 2016 conference in London, Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media’s CEO reiterated his company’s commitment to getting more football matches on TV in the UK, suggesting that a ‘club channel’ could save fans the expense of travelling to and staying in other cities for every away game.
Mockridge said: “There are so many live Premier League games that are not available on TV in the UK. One solution could be the creation of a club channel.
“New providers would enter the market if that opportunity was available in the UK. It would create demand from fans and lead to an increase in the distribution of games.”
While Virgin Media lets customers sign up for Sky Sports and BT Sport channels, it doesn’t currently run any live sports TV channels of its own.