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Premier League defends BT deal after fan unrest

ESPN staff
August 29, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
The camera position that upset Fulham fans during the weekend's match © Twitter
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The Premier League has launched a robust defence against claims its £3 billion TV deal with BT has resulted in some fans being treated as second-rate citizens.

A report in the Daily Telegraph said that supporters at some clubs had found that seats they occupied for long periods now had obstructed views because of new TV facilities. Fulham fans recently Tweeted pictures of cameras obstructing their views.

A Fulham spokesperson told the Press Association: "To adhere to the broadcast regulations imposed by the Premier League we had to find a credible solution for a camera position that was a requirement. We understand it may have caused some issues for supporters and we will look to deal with those individuals to find a solution."

A spokesman for BT Sport said that the company "doesn't decide where cameras are placed at Premier League football grounds, but we always try to minimise the impact of them for fans at the match".

Arsenal admitted "there will be more affected with restricted view, which will only become clear after our first live match," adding that "we have plans to offer discounts on these impacted seats".

"The investment brought by TV companies has benefited fans in terms of facilities," a Premier League spokesman told the newspaper. "Old Trafford's capacity was 44,000 at the start of the Premier League. It is now 75,000, and even grounds like Craven Cottage are being looked at in terms of improving stands, so the camera and other media facilities will be a part of that process.

"Match-going fans are top of the 'supporter hierarchy' and that needs to be recognised."

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