PremPlus

PremPlus
Launched 19 August 2001
Closed 6 May 2007
Owned by British Sky Broadcasting
Audience share 0.1% (April 2007, )
Formerly called Premiership Plus (to 1 July 2004)
Website www.sky.com/sports
Availability
(at time of closure)
Satellite
Sky Channel 480
Channel 483 (HD)
Cable
Virgin Media Channel 501
Channel 502 (PremPlus 2)
Chorus NTL Channel 501

PremPlus (originally Premiership Plus) was Sky Sports' first and only pay-per-view channel which was dedicated to airing live and interactive football from the Premier League. The main presenter on PremPlus was Marcus Buckland with former Arsenal manager George Graham, providing punditry.

History

PremPlus was launched on 19 August 2001, showing 40 pay-per-view matches from the Premier League. The first match featured Chelsea v Newcastle United.[1] The name Premiership Plus had run throughout the 2001–02, 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons before being shortened to PremPlus for the beginning of the 2004–05 season. Also, from the start of 2004–05, PremPlus showed 50 live PPV matches, an increase of 10 compared to previous seasons.

Matches could be purchased simply by telephone or, in later seasons, interactively through the TV, and a season ticket for all matches in a season was available at a substantial discount.

There was a PremPlus 2 channel, but was only shown on NTL. It closed when PremPlus stopped broadcasting in 2007. In 2006, PremPlus HD launched with the other HD channels on Sky. It was replaced by Sky Sports HDX when PremPlus stopped broadcasting.

PremPlus failed to live up to Sky's expectations as few British football fans were willing to pay for individual matches on top of paying a monthly subscription for other matches. After six seasons on air it closed down at the end of the 2006–07 season, when EU competition laws forced Sky to break its monopoly on the Premier League, having broadcast 270 matches live and exclusive from the Premier League. The last ever game shown on PremPlus was Aston Villa v Sheffield United. This marked the end, at least for the time being, of attempts to introduce pay-per-view into the British sports television market, outside of occasional wrestling and boxing matches.

References

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