By Joe Harker
Trying to watch Premier League games can end up being something of a costly nightmare.
Some of the games aren't televised in all countries while others are divided up between different channels that all require an individual subscription, piling more costs on the viewer.
There's also no guarantee that the games showing on the channels you've paid for will be ones you want to watch. You're paying to watch the games the channel can get permission to film, whether they feature the team you really came to see or not.
The Premier League's solution appears to be a Netflix style streaming service where they sell games directly to fans.
Trials of the streaming channel could start as early as 2022 as the current bidding for broadcasting rights expire then.
Richard Masters, the new CEO of the Premier League, is a big fan of the division being able to stream their own games, with the hope that it would bring in even more money than before.
The Premier League and the clubs within it are heavily reliant on broadcasting money, as companies like Sky and BT make big bids for the rights to show England's top clubs playing football.
To illustrate just how lucrative the Premier League is, the deal struck to show games between 2015 and 2019 was worth £5.14 billion. The new deal running until 2022 is worth even more each year.
If the Premier League thinks they could make billions more selling their own product directly then why wouldn't they?
The Counter Claim:
However, the question of how the predicted billions more in riches are distributed among the Premier League clubs is an issue.
Broadcasting revenue is divided up mostly equally among the 20 clubs with some weighting to reflect the number of times a club appears on our screens.
The highest earning Premier League club in terms of TV money can only make 1.8 times the amount the lowest earning club rakes in, so there's not a massive amount of divergence. The bigger clubs are bigger draws but nobody gets left too far behind.
However, if the league is allowed to stream their own games then what's to say the clubs can't decide to do it themselves either and directly collect the profits themselves?
The larger clubs have long wanted a bigger share of broadcasting money, arguing they are the reason the Premier League makes billions in selling the rights to show games on TV.
Once a streaming service is accepted then what's to say the clubs won't try and launch their own, undercutting the Premier League just as it undercut the broadcasters. The financial disparity created could end up making it such an unbalanced competition.
If you lived in the UK and wanted to have access to every televised Premier League game in a season then you'd need a subscription to Sky, BT Sport and Amazon Prime which would cost you £912 a year, or £76 a month.
A basic subscription service for the Premier League could cost far less and pull in much more in terms of audience size, allowing fans to watch the games they want rather than whatever the broadcasters are able to get their hands on.