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Nearly three quarters (77%) of football fans said they would like more live Premier League games screened on television.

That is the main finding of research commissioned by Virgin Media, which after canvassing the opinions of 1,000 fans found that two thirds believe the rising cost of Premier League TV rights has made televised football too expensive.

Only 6% of respondents said they were able to watch every match they wanted to on TV at home.

The sale of Premier League rights is currently the subject of an investigation by communications regulator Ofcom, which was launched in November 2014 after a formal complaint from Virgin.

The Premier League struck a £5 billion deal with BT and Sky back in February to show 168 out of 380 games on UK television, but Virgin claims that only 13% of viewers think fans will benefit from the new rights deal, while 53% think the Premier League itself will be the main beneficiary.

Around 70% of fans said they were unhappy at being forced to buy Sky and BT bundles or add-ons to watch the games they want to see, with 73% of fans saying they would watch more games if they were shown on TV.

The number of games screened in the UK has increased by 21% over the last eight years, although the price of the rights has soared by nearly 200%.

In contrast, US broadcaster NBC has reportedly paid around £660 million for six seasons' worth of rights that entitles them to show all 380 matches at a smaller price.

Tom Mockridge, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Media, said: “Football fans are getting a raw deal. They pay the highest prices in Europe to watch top-flight football on TV yet are denied some of the best matches

“Ofcom should show the red card to the Premier League and the way in which TV rights are sold in the UK.”

Commenting specifically on the Ofcom investigation, he said: “It’s time Ofcom decides whether an auction structure based on now expired commitments agreed in 2006 justifies a self-determined exemption from competition law. The results surely speak for themselves, over the same period the cost of live TV rights have rocketed by nearly 200 per cent."

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