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SBD Global/August 29, 2013/Facilities

Premier League Fans Angry About Giving Up Space For TV Cameras

The Premier League's £3B ($4.6B) TV deal "comes at a cost for the match goer," according to Henry Winter of the London TELEGRAPH. Caring clubs "are seeking to accommodate them in other parts of the stadium but fans are creatures of habit, wanting the same familiar routes, gangways, characters, seats, neighbours." It is "like breaking up a good party, or even family." TV "grows ever more powerful and demanding." Fulham fans, one of the country’s "more sanguine breeds, angrily tweeted pictures of the raised camera obscuring the view of between 10-20 of them." At the Emirates, approximately 30 seats "have been removed for cameras, even eight in the directors’ box." Arsenal said that "there will be more affected with restricted view, which will only become clear after our first live match [on Sunday against Spurs] -- and we do have plans to offer discounts on these impacted seats." Yet there "is an understandable frustration among fans." Even some clubs "feel the new demands are excessive while others say they need the increased revenue at a time of Financial Fair Play and inflated wages." It was "interesting to note" a Fulham spokesperson refer to broadcast regulations "imposed" by the Premier League. Clubs take the money, loving EPL CEO Richard Scudamore’s brilliance as a negotiator with broadcasters, "but there are limits." They "object to their fans being pushed around." Broadcasters insist "they do not choose the location of cameras." It is down to the Premier League "promising ever more access during negotiations (the cameras will be in dressing rooms within three years)" (TELEGRAPH, 8/27).
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