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England game to broadcast exclusively online

England's World Cup qualifier in Ukraine on Saturday will be shown exclusively on the internet after TV broadcasters refused to meet the asking price.

It means fans who want to watch the game will now have to pay at least £4.99 to stream the game live online.

Originally the UK rights were sold to Setanta through, Kentaro - an international agency appointed by the Ukrainian Football Federation.  But after the Irish firms collapse, digital sport specialist Perform was appointed to stream the match online.

The match will be shown on the website www.­ukra­ine­ven­gland.­com and viewers will be able to subscribe to it using PayPal, the electronic payment service.


Speaking to BBC Sport, Peter Silverstone, managing director of Kentaro said: "You will watch as you would any other streaming on the internet, like YouTube or the BBC iPlayer - there will be a pop-up player that will show the match in a very good quality stream."

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.

Kentaro have confirmed they will take a maximum of one million subscribers for the match - which he said equates to about 2.5 million viewers - because this would be the "safe number to stop at to ensure the optimal broadcast".

The Odeon cinema chain will show the game live throughout the country, including at their flagship cinema at Leicester Square, but the match will not be available in pubs.

Out of our hands

Football Association spokesman Adrian Bevington admitted: "We would obviously like to see the game broadcast to as many people as possible" but insisted the matter was out of his organisation's hands.

"These are the rights of the Ukrainian FA and the agents they've appointed to sell them," he told BBC Sport.

"A traditional TV platform would be ideal to broadcast the game but it's not the case. It's not in our control."  ITV has the rights to home England games and, under the terms of their contract, has taken over Setanta's broadcast rights for away friendlies.

However, that aspect of the deal does not cover away qualifying games, and neither the BBC, ITV, Sky nor Channel Five made a successful bid for the match.

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