Internet match means England fans will miss out - Rowen

October 9, 2009 12:00 AM

Manchester City and England Star - Shaun Wright-PhillipsRochdale MP Paul Rowen has spoken about his disappointment that this Saturday's England World Cup qualifier will only be available to England fans on pay-per-view via the internet.

England's World Cup qualifier in Ukraine on Saturday will be shown exclusively live to subscribers on the internet who will have to pay at least £4.99. The rights for the match were originally sold to Setanta but after the pay-TV firm collapsed, digital sport specialist Perform was appointed to stream the match online.

The cost of watching the game was being advertised on Monday in the Daily Express as £4.99 if viewers signed up before midnight on Wednesday. - charges rise to £9.99 for those who subscribe on Thursday and Friday, and £11.99 on Saturday.

All previously broadcast England matches have been available on TV.

Liberal Democrat MP for Rochdale, Paul Rowen said: "England games should be as widely available to the public as possible, preferably on free-to-air television. Using the internet is an innovative idea, and a potential model for the future. But the reality is that many fans will miss out because they don't have internet access at home and their local pub cannot easily screen the game. Sports fans already missed out this Summer with the screening of the Ashes on Sky rather than terrestrial television. This is just another example of football's love affair with money - making a fast buck always takes priority over the interests of the fans."