The Week In Sportbiz: Premier League set to axe pay-per-view (for now), Formula E gets cosier with Extreme E, and Gosper gives US his World Cup vote
Less than a month after its introduction, Premier League clubs are expected to ditch their unpopular pay-per-view service.
Since debuting on 17 October, half of all games have been restricted to those willing to pay £14.95 a time.
Fans groups protested the extra charges by successfully urging people to donate thousands of pounds to food banks instead.
Even Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville criticised the move to monetise matches made available for free earlier this year.
Seemingly shamed into a rethink, clubs are now set to shelve the scheme after this weekend’s fixtures, multiple reports say.
The bad news? The league is said to be considering reviving pay-per-view, possibly at a lower price, for the busy Christmas period.
That should be about as popular as the fifth day of turkey sandwiches.
Our friends electric
Formula E and Extreme E have strengthened their ties, with the former investing in the latter.
Both electric racing series are the brainchild of Alejandro Agag, who remains Formula E chairman while launching Extreme E, where he is chief executive.
The latest development sees Formula E chief exec Jamie Reigle join the board of Extreme E, which debuts next year.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are among the owners of teams in the off-road series.
US World Cup bid gets Gosper’s vote
All eyes have been on the United States this week, especially those of the top brass at World Rugby.
Brett Gosper, the governing body’s chief executive, talked up an American bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2027 or 2031.
“There is no commercial market like the United States,” he said.
Rugby has had a rough ride across the pond, with USA Rugby only emerging from bankruptcy two months ago.
Gosper’s words will encourage talk of USA making formal representations ahead of a bid next year.
Cycling’s Champions League on track
Cycling chiefs have revealed further details of the inaugural Track Champions League.
The competition, aimed at raising the profile of velodrome action, will take place over six weekends in November and December next year.
Organisers the UCI, cycling’s governing body, and Eurosport Events hope the scheduling will capitalise on renewed interest sparked by the delayed Tokyo Olympics.
The short-form racing will be held at six different venues and entry will be restricted to elite male and female riders.
Super League sends Toronto packing
Super League chiefs are on the hunt for a 12th team following the end of the Toronto Wolfpack experiment.
Clubs voted not to readmit the Canadian team for 2021 after they pulled out during the coronavirus-interrupted current campaign.
Candidates for the vacancy include London Broncos, relegated in 2019, Toulouse Olympique, Featherstone Rovers and Leigh Centurions.