This petition calls for broadcasters of Premier League football in England (Sky Sports and BT Sport) to give football supporters adequate notice of televised fixtures which alter dates and times of games and therefore affect the ability of fans to book travel.
In 2016, following requests from fan groups, the Premier League committed to providing a schedule for confirmation of broadcast picks, at the start of each season. We note that these dates are now missed more regularly than they are adhered to. December and January selections were over a fortnight late, with one match – Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham – over 3 weeks late. The latest example of this being that televised games for February 2018, due to be announced on Tuesday 12 December 2017, have still not been announced with no public apology or acknowledgement of this delay and no indication of a new announcement date.
Delays in notifying supporters of date changes for matches have a directly negative impact on many fans due to, for example, advance discounted train prices no longer being available and also less time to notify employers of annual leave requests. They also make arrangements for supporters with families harder to manage. While broadcasters leave decisions as late as possible to maximise viewing figures and advertising revenue, supporters are hit in the pocket and inconvenienced by their delays.
The notice of fixture changes offered to fans is becoming increasingly shortened, with neither the Premier League nor Sky Sports/ BT Sport seeking to apologise for missing publication dates or informing fans of how long delays to publishing dates will be. The supporters affected are often subscribers to their platforms, too.
We call on the Premier League and its television partners to adhere to published deadlines for matches selected for broadcast; to compensate supporters who are financially affected by delays to announcements of these dates; and, to issue clear communications to supporters when deadlines are missed.