For the Hong Kong Premier League, the digital broadcasting service of the Oriental Daily News is, currently, the sole provider of the live coverage of the Sunday, professional football of the city.
However, starting from this season, the newspaper company and a few football clubs (Kitchee included) decided to implement a “pay per view” (“PPV”) plan for the broadcasting rights.
How does this scheme operate? Well, it’s simple – just sign up using your email, then pay $50 (in Hong Kong Dollars) online in order to get the code and gain access to the exclusive footage.
What if you don’t want to pay? Simple. You’ll need to wait until the matches end for the highlights, which are completely free of charge to watch. Nothing in English, though.
The good news, though, is that there will be still free shows but it’s largely limited to those selected fixtures involving “mid-table teams” like Tai Po, Dreams and Hoi King. Oh well…
These are the only ways to go if you want to sit on your sofa cozily and munching your chips, watching the HKPL online.
From the title of this story, needless to say, I’m extremely dissatisfied with this policy.
Why? Because we’re used to having free coverage of the HKPL and this kind of “sudden changes” disgusts us. It may be worth it if the quality of the broadcasting service is higher.
Sadly, according to some who paid for the matchday shows, it’s still the same thing we get for free. This is why instead of promoting the HKPL, people are discouraged to pay that sum of money.
Instead of attracting new fans, what the businessmen are doing run the risk of losing them. The best thing we, as supporters, can do is to go to the stadiums ourselves instead. It’s not expensive to buy tickets compared to subscribing to the PPV thing. Just a couple more bucks.
People were voicing their dismay on Facebook during the “Hong Kong Clásico” between Kitchee and Eastern. I’m not sure that those entrepreneurs will listen to the voice of the fans. Just hope that they won’t risk losing the fan’s support in this case.
“Football without fans is nothing.” – Jock Stein
I believe that without the support of the fans, making the HKPL a profitable business won’t last long. Football can be a new type of merchandising in HK if it’s executed well, but one thing for sure, the “pay per view” thing is nothing more than a total failure.