The cost of an annual subscription to both Sky Sports and BT Sport would pay for season ticket at 19 of the 20 Premier League clubs.
A monthly subscription to Sky’s sports package costs £49.50 per month, with the cost of BT Sport adding £23 to the bill. This means the cheapest annual cost is £870 if you were to take both packages, according to research by Freesat, the subscription-free satellite TV service.
This would be enough to buy a season ticket at all but the most expensive Premier League club – Arsenal. A season ticket at the Emirates Stadium cost £1,014 during the season just ended.
The annual TV subscription cost is around three times the price some cheaper Premier League sides charged during 2016/17. The cheapest in the division is West Ham at £289 while other bargain tickets include Stoke City (£294) and Manchester City (£299).
Freesat estimates that a quarter of people who pay for premium sports channels watch less than one hour of content each week.
Fans of less glamourous clubs are also more likely to get a poor deal from a TV subscription. For instance, Stoke City featured on TV eight times last season, equivalent to £109 a match. This compares to £15.50 a game if fans were to buy the cheapest season ticket on offer.
‘Some fans will see very few games on TV’
Freesat spokesperson Jennifer Elworthy says: “Football coverage is often the biggest draw for people when it comes to sports channel subscriptions, but unless you’re a fan of one of the most watched clubs in the Premier League, there’s a chance you’ll see very few of your team’s games televised.
“The fact that these customers could pay for a season ticket and still have hundreds of pounds to spare suggests sports channel subscriptions with the big providers are not always the right option for everyone.”