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Home / Features / Sky Sports+ could prove that it’s possible to have too much football

Sky Sports+ could prove that it’s possible to have too much football

Sky Sports+ is preparing a feast of football for next season, but could too many televised games actually make some of the football family sick?

Sky Sports Plus

Most people think there’s either way too much or not nearly enough football on TV these days, but even those who love the beautiful game might want to think twice before getting too excited about Sky Sports+. 

Yesterday, the UK’s premier sports broadcaster (not to be confused with Premier Sports, which is the UK’s pound-shop sports broadcaster) announced that it would be showing over 1000 live EFL Championship, League One and League Two games per season – that’s four times as many as before – with each club guaranteed to be shown at least 20 times.

Anyone who forks out a significant sum per month for their Sky Sports subscription will no doubt feel like that represents better value for money, but like the sheer number of games that is leading to so many players suffering injuries these days, I think the increased volume could have unwanted side effects.

Seagulls vs Hawks

I’ve had a season ticket to watch Brighton & Hove Albion, the club that I’ve supported since the 1990s and once nearly ceased to exist due to the greediness of its former owners, for nearly 15 years.  

When the Seagulls have had their kick-off time moved to be on TV, or they’re playing away somewhere that I can’t bring myself to pay a fortune to get to on an overcrowded train, I’ll go to watch non-league Whitehawk FC instead – a 15-minute walk from my front door and home to the legendary 10-sausage meal (just £7 with chips and a drink).

Behind the goal at Whitehawk FC

I suspect I’m not alone in that. In fact, I know I’m not, because there are often people sampling the cuisine at the Enclosed Ground (above) who I recognise from Brighton’s American Express Stadium just a few miles away. There are also often kids running around at those Whitehawk games wearing the shirts of Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and other clubs that the Seagulls lost fans to during the years spent in the wilderness thanks to those aforementioned nefarious owners. 

Would all of those people be there supporting the Hawks (or one of the other lower-league teams across the country) if they could just stay at home and watch a higher-level game on Sky Q, Sky Glass or Sky Stream? I’m sure some would, but a drop-off would be inevitable. 

Going dark

Fortunately, the ‘3pm blackout’ exists, which prevents games being shown live on TV when Whitehawk and other lower-league teams like them are playing, but on the first weekend of the new EFL season, which starts in August, Sky will show every Championship game live to launch Sky Sports+, taking advantage of the fact that the Premier League will still be on its summer break.  

My concern is that this huge increase in televised games will give people the idea that it should become the norm, and in the face of pressure from both Premier League clubs, who will be able to charge Sky, TNT Sports et al more to show their product, and the broadcasters, who will be able to charge fans more to watch it, local clubs like Whitehawk won’t be able to attract the number of people they need to stay alive (and keep selling all those sausages).

Despite what Disney’s Welcome to Wrexham (don’t get me started on that ‘fairytale’), or any of the countless seasons of All or Nothing on Prime Video would like you to think, football isn’t a TV show, it’s a sport. It’s a sport that exists way beyond the 20 teams of the Premier League, or even the 92 in the EFL, with thousands of clubs that mean a lot to the communities they represent already struggling to keep their heads above water. 

When Brighton are playing in Burnley on a Monday night I’m incredibly grateful that Sky exists, but if we’re not careful it might not always be possible to say the same about those little clubs down the road.

Profile image of Tom Wiggins Tom Wiggins Contributor


Stuff's second Tom has been writing for the magazine and website since 2006, when smartphones were only for massive nerds and you could say “Alexa” out loud without a robot answering. Over the years he’s written about everything from MP3s to NFTs, played FIFA with Trent Alexander-Arnold, and amassed a really quite impressive collection of USB sticks.

Areas of expertise

A bit of everything but definitely not cameras.

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