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Reading FC embrace £20 ticket cap for away fans

Championship club Reading FC continues to lead the way, when it comes to ticket prices for away fans visiting the Madejski Stadium.

Since 2016, the club has been charging £20 for all away fans.

The club claims there has been no noticeable change in revenue, as the losses from higher ticket prices are off-set by larger attendances and concession purchases.

Head of operations at Reading FC, Jackie Evans, told fcbusiness: “We continue to stand by this price cap principle in the Championship and promote across the EFL; our ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ pricing strategy demonstrates that Reading Football Club are listening to its supporters and football fans across the country. “It is a structure which visiting supporters admire and one we hope more clubs consider and adopt.”

Other clubs in the Championship and lower leagues of England continue to gauge away fans at exorbitant prices.

For example, Cardiff City fans who visited Elland Road in December were charged £39 for a league game against Leeds.

The EFL looks to be falling behind other leagues across Europe, including France’s Ligue 1 and the Dutch Eredivisie, who have both introduced ticket caps for away fans.

Last season, the average cost of an away ticket in the Championship was around £27, with clubs like Leeds charging more than £37 on average.

However, there has been some progress in the EFL in recent seasons.

Coventry City previously capped their away ticket prices at £20, whilst Swansea City away fans are partly subsidised by the club. The Welsh Club don’t let their fans who travel to away games pay more than £22 for entry.

Despite these highlights, cultural change at the EFL continues to move at a slow pace.

The EFL claims it will not consider implementing competition-wide price caps into its rules.

Therefore, it looks like it is up to supporters to pressure clubs into making the changes.

At this stage however, Reading FC are riding solo on the £20 cap.

“When we launched this price cap commitment for visiting supporters, we encouraged other clubs to follow our lead,” added Jackie. “And some did, allowing Royals fans to also benefit from reasonable ticket pricing when they journey up and down the country. “We hope ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ and a pioneering matchday ticket pricing policy takes one step in the right direction.”

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Paramount+ secures Premier League deal overseas

A-Leagues broadcaster Paramount+ has secured a three-year deal for English Premier League broadcast rights in Mexico and Central America.

A-Leagues broadcaster Paramount+ has secured a three-year deal for English Premier League rights in Mexico and Central America from the start of the 2022/23 season.

The new partnership will mark the end of pay-TV provider Sky Mexico’s reign as the only Premier League broadcaster in the region.

All 380 English Premier League matches will be streamed live through Paramount+ and ‘PlutoTV’ who is the aggregated streaming platform for Paramount+.

The contract covers Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. It also includes Belize and the Dominican Republic but on a non-exclusive basis.

Paramount+, owned by ViacomCBS, has also secured a Premier League feed for its platforms featuring 24/7 coverage of the competition.

ViacomCBS launched Paramount+ in the US in 2019 with several high-profile soccer rights acquisitions. This included International matches, CONCACAF, UEFA Champions League, as well as top flight football from Italy, Argentina and Brazil.

The Premier League rights deal marks an expansion of operations in Central America ahead of moving into a number of additional territories by 2023, including the UK, Ireland, Germany and Italy.

Premier League Chief Executive Officer, Paul Molnar:

“We are very happy that ViacomCBS views the Premier League and our clubs as a vital part of their live sports offering,” he said.

“ViacomCBS platforms, including Paramount+ and Pluto TV, will be an outstanding home for the Premier League and we look forward to working together to showcase the league to new and existing fans throughout Central America and Mexico.”

Paramount+ has already made their mark in Australia, providing live coverage for A-League men’s and women’s competitions for subscribers to the platform.

ViacomCBS President and Chief Executive, Raffaele Annecchino:

“We know audiences around the world are passionate about sports, and especially about football. This partnership with the Premier League brings exclusive content directly to those fans, live for the first time on Paramount+ in Mexico and Central America,” he said.

“Live sports are an important differentiator for our streaming service, and as we’ve seen in the US and Australia, we are confident this will drive subscriber growth as we continue to offer the best mix of entertainment and now – live sports.”

LaLiga celebrates five years of international growth

LaLiga has celebrated five years of it's very own unique international structure that has driven worldwide expansion of the competition.

LaLiga has celebrated five years of it’s very own unique international structure that has driven worldwide expansion of the competition, turning the Spanish league into a world-leading reference for the sports industry.

The LaLiga Global Network program was launched in early January 2017, and is present in 41 different countries, with 44 on-site delegates and another 11 employees working from LaLiga headquarters in Madrid.

The program also has 11 international offices and two joint ventures in North America and China. The international expansion strategy has covered over 90 different countries, boasting an extreme amount of growth throughout a five-year period.

It is a big reason why more and more people around the world are falling in love with LaLiga football.

LaLiga executive director Oscar Mayo:

“Five years ago, we embarked on an ambitious mission to bring the entertainment and emotion of LaLiga to more fans around the world and to help grow football as a sport everywhere,” he said.

“We are very proud that LaLiga and its main protagonists, clubs, players, coaches, are closer today to more people around the world than ever before.

“That said, this is just the beginning, together with clubs and with the support of our new partner CVC, we will give our international efforts a massive boost.”

The internationalisation strategy has had a positive effect in the growth of the community within LaLiga facts across the globe, as the league now possesses 146 million followers.

LaLiga produces plenty of content, however what is unique is that the content is published in over 20 different languages across 17 different social media platforms, allowing discussions about the league to occur in many different places.

Out of all the top five leagues in Europe, LaLiga has the largest following. Even in recent years, the number of international activations organised by LaLiga has doubled, reaching 1,222 across more than 90 countries.

Mayo continued:

“When it comes to football fans outside of Spain, we always say that we would like to be everyone’s second most popular league, after their local league,” he said.

“National leagues are the true engine of football and that’s why LaLiga is sharing the recipe of its own success with leagues, federations and clubs around the world.

“The growing number of commercial partnerships around the world is a sign of the increasing relevance of LaLiga. Our commercial partner are a very important part of LaLiga fan engagement.”

La Liga has had 247% in the value of the competitions’ international audiovisual rights since 2013/14 and a boost to the value of the LaLiga brand.

The numbers confirm that Spanish football has captivated fans all over the world, whilst attesting to the success of the internationalisation process.

“We are on an exciting journey to entertain people around the globe. We will continue to make bold bets to bring Spanish football fans everywhere great entertainment and to introduce our competition to more people everywhere. We are only just getting started,” Mayo said.

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