Mick Dennison column: New football season comes at high price

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As people are buying this copy of the Visitor, Morecambe FC will have started their pre-season campaign against Burnley.

It’s time for football fans to come out of enforced summer hibernation.

It’s about now, we in the pub industry take a look forward and start filling in our diaries with the Premier League matches that will be on satellite TV.

Of course being “Up North” the two Manchester and Liverpool derbies would be high on the agenda.

But the problem is now we are all in the dark as to which company is going to be screening what!

This season the televised football schedules are up in the air thanks to the new kid on the block – BT Sport, who has in essence taken over ESPN’s slot.

Sky Sports as you can imagine are not too happy with this as unlike ESPN the team at BT have decided not to offer their sports on the Sky platform – without a fight.

BT has managed to bag the 12.45pm slot off Sky.

Morecambe fans wishing to enjoy a pre-match pint watching football will now have to find pubs showing 
BT Sport; in its place Sky have managed to secure Championship football during that lunchtime window.

This does mean pubs will be able to show a Premier League and Championship game at the same time – if 
they have purchased BT Sport!

Now, there are two companies legally allowed to show sports in pubs and clubs.

Whom will you go with or will you have both?

It also means both companies will be sending out inspectors to check on venues that illegally show football on foreign satellite systems.

Owning the box is not illegal but watching on an illegal viewing card is: beware all proprietors.

Obviously, many people will choose to buy the system to watch at home, buy their drink from the supermarket and not go near a pub.

The best atmosphere for televised football or any sport really is in the pub or club but it does come at a price.

The average price for a full system of both Sky and BT Sport will be around £850 a month!

Please do the maths to work out how many pints you have to serve each month to cover that amount – its eye watering and the reason many venues either go out of business or go bust.

Please support your local pub.