The football season is officially soon-to-be-back, with the League Cup starting this weekend and top flight action returning on Saturday 12 September.
However, the 2020/2021 season will be very different for supporters as most of the games will continue to take place behind closed doors, at least the beginning, due to coronavirus restrictions.
This may change in the future with the option of reduced capacity being considered by a number of clubs, including Arsenal, which has said it hopes by 3 October it can welcome a limited number of fans to the Emirates for its match against Sheffield United.
But for the majority, they will have to make do with watching their team through a screen and battling a myriad of subscription options.
The Premier League is back meaning more fans will be subscribing to sports channels again
TV platforms are likely to see a huge rise in sports subscriptions after thousands cancelled their plans at the beginning of lockdown when matches could no longer go ahead.
To help you get the cheapest deal, This is Money has collated the best sports TV deals currently available and reveals whether any of the big clashes will be available on mainstream channels.
Now TV is currently offering customers nine months of Sky Sports for just £20 a month – a saving of 40 per cent – as the usual price for this package is £33.99.
However, customers interested in the deal should hurry as the limited offer ends on 8 September.
Football fans can catch the Premier League season on Sky Sports with 130 live games as well as live action from Formula 1, the PGA Tour and Test Cricket.
Anyone who is looking to watch one off games can also pay for a Sky Sports day pass but this will cost £9.99 every 24 hours.
Those looking to join Sky itself could get Sky Sports with Sky TV for £39 a month in a 18 month contract – usually £48 a month.
However, there is a £20 set up fee and Sky says that the prices could change within the 18 month period.
Therefore, it would be cheaper for most customers to take on the Now TV deal.
BT Sport currently has a number of deals available with its Sport package now free for three months before returning to £15 a month after that time.
Customers will have to pay £29.99 for postage and packaging with the deal available on a 24 month contract.
Included is all four BT Sport channels and BoxNation, showing 52 live Premier League matches and every single UEFA Champions League game, exclusive to BT Sport.
It also offers a Big Sport deal with everything from the Sport package included as well as all 11 Sky Sports channels made available through its Now TV Sport package.
It is currently half price for six months, making it just £20 as opposed to £40, also on a 24 month contract. Customers will also have to pay £9.99 upfront as a delivery charge.
For customers after sport and entertainment, BT offers a VIP package for £60 a month on a 24 month contract, again with a £29.99 fee.
This includes everything from the Big Sport and Big Entertainment packages as well as Sky Atlantic, Sky One and more premium channels from Now TV.
Liverpool won the Premier League earlier this year and will be hoping to win the title again this season
Amazon Prime is showing a series of Premier Leagues games from 15 to 17 December and 28 to 30 December – 22 in total.
All customers need to do to watch is login to their Amazon Prime account or join if they haven’t already.
Those who have never used Prime before will get a 30 day free membership which can then be cancelled if no longer required, meaning sports fans can watch for free.
However, if customers decide to continue with their membership, the monthly cost is £7.99 or there is an annual fee of £79.
Not only will customers get free next day delivery on thousands of items, through Prime TV they will have access to hundreds of TV shows and films.
Amazon Prime will see a number of Premier League come to the platform over December
So far neither the BBC or ITV have said whether they will be showing any of the Premier League matches after the BBC showed four for the first time in history last season.
This will be a blow to those who do not wish to subscribe to a sports package but fans are advised to keep their eye out in case there are any changes in the future.
The Government is keen for as many games as possible to be broadcast with fans unable to attend – but telecoms giants are not so keen, given they fork out huge sums for the rights to show games.
Under current plans, around a third of the total 380 top-flight games will not be televised.
A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: ‘Our focus is on working with the football authorities, safety and medical experts to get fans back in stadia as quickly as possible.
‘It is for the Premier League and its broadcast partners to come to an agreement on screening matches, however we urge them to follow the spirit of Project Restart and listen to clubs’ loyal fans and consider what can be achieved in the meantime.’
The Football Supporters’ Association is campaigning for all games to be shown live in Britain.
Streaming matches for lower league teams
iFollow is the official streaming service for the English Football League – the Championship, League One and League Two.
Fans can make a subscription to the platform for audio only coverage, allowing them to listen in to games for £45 a season or £4.49 a month, but it is well worth pointing out here that many games are broadcast via local BBC stations.
For those wanting to make the most of the action, fans can pay £10 for video per game, which is cheaper than a matchday ticket, but devoid of the atmosphere.
The service is only available to football clubs that have opted in.
AFC Bournemouth, Birmingham City, Bristol City, Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic, Derby County, Forest Green Rovers, Harrogate Town, Leyton Orient, Middlesbrough, QPR, Salford City, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Watford and Wigan Athletic are the teams that have opted not to join iFollow and therefore fans will have to consult their club directly for streaming advice.
How much will this all cost?
While it is unlikely that fans will sign up to all of the subscription services available, some will be keen to see as much of the Premier League action as possible.
If a customer signed up to all the above subscription services, on the current deals, they would pay £67.99 a month. This assumes someone is paying to watch two videos on iFollow a month.
If they continued paying for the services for three months, the total would come to £203.97 – or more than £600 over the course of a season.
Customers are encouraged to use comparison sites and keep their eye out for deals to save money on their TV subscription plans.
Those who only want to watch football should also ensure they freeze or cancel their deal when the season comes to an end in May.
|Subscription service||One month cost||Three month cost|
|iFollow||£20 (two matches)||£60|