When BT Sport signed a €1 billion TV rights deal for Uefa Champions League it was immediately clear who would be in line to cash in, and it wasn’t the consumer.
Broadcasting contracts for 2016 to 2019 will net Premier League clubs £8.3 billion combined, with Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish suggesting a single match could rake in television revenue of up to £500 million in the coming seasons.
But while the already cash-rich clubs and their overpaid players rake in more money, the cost of being a sports fan is rocketing. New research by online market research company OnePoll has revealed being a sports fan will cost you almost £67,000 over a lifetime, an expense some 83 per cent believe to be prohibitive.
The study of 2,000 fans found those who consider themselves to be a sports fan will spend an average of £347 each year on tickets and admission to 12 games or sports events. On top of this, a further £229 is spent on travel and accommodation, while around £37 a year is spent on kits and merchandise.
However, even those who try to save money by not going to live events end up spending a small fortune with an average of £229 spent on TV subscriptions to watch games over a year. And heading to your nearest pub to catch the big game over a pint and some food amounts to another £204 a year.
As a result, seven in ten sports fans have had to turn down the chance to go to a live sports game because it was costing them too much money.
A spokesman for OnePoll said: “Sometimes being passionate about something can cost money.
“But it doesn’t necessarily mean it is wasted cash as being a supporter means you’re helping to keep a business alive. Having said that, it’s surprising to see just how much money the typical sports fan ends up spending over the course of their adult lifetime. What seems like a small amount every time, can really add up without noticing, meaning the nation could be spending billions on keeping track of their idols.”
Arsenal were once again crowned the most expensive team to watch in British football at the start of the season. According to BBC Sport’s annual Price of Football study their most expensive season ticket costs £2,013 – almost seven times the cost of the cheapest season ticket at Stoke, which at £294 is the most affordable in the top-flight.
By comparison, season tickets to watch Spanish champions Barcelona start at just £73.88 per season, while they are available for just £104.48 at Bayern Munich.