top of page

Pub blog

Any opinions or experiences shared here are those of the contributor and not necessarily reflective of every individual in the industry, whether associated with the same parties or collaborators.  The views expressed here are not necessarily held by all employees of Princess Alexandra, the management or ownership group.

BT Sport.png
Prime Sport.png

Live sports in pubs

It seems like a bit of a no-brainer doesn't it?  As that voice whispered mysteriously to Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams "If you build it he will come", in this case "build it" being showing Premier League and European football in particular but sport in general and "he" being every individual in the area with a team affiliation or more than a passing interest in footie, rugby, F1, NFL, golf or cricket.

Somehow even after 4 years & 9 months of putting it on boards on the pavement outside the pub, social posts what feels like every weekend, our website, Fanzo (formerly Matchpint) and posters in the pub as well as telling anyone who will listen (because we love to chat about it) we still have people who come in and claim not to have known about us showing Sky, BT and Amazon Prime Video games or about our 101" projector screen.



What am I doing wrong or not doing at all?  (answers through our contact us are welcome)

So why do we do it? 

Simple, we, mostly Nick, love sport. 

We are passionate about rugby, both Nick and I support Leicester Tigers, Nick from childhood when all his favourite players were Tigers, me, well when I was getting into rugby my mate's brother was playing for Leicester and I considered (still consider) that to be a perfectly valid reason, wouldn't you agree?  On football we differ, he is a lifelong Spurs fan, former season ticket holder and perpetually disappointed by everything apart from the stadium.  I'm a "Cockney Manc" thanks to my Dad's indoctrination and the fact that when I started watching football we actually won things.....regularly (those were the days).  NFL, Nick's team is the 49ers thanks to some merch he received from his aunt in the 90's, I'm a Cowboys fan thanks to Jensen Ackles (yeah, look him up), it may be ridiculous but in my opinion it's as good a reason as any.  We love the Master's, the Ryder Cup, Super Bowl, F1 (we have very diametric views on Max Verstappen & Red Bull Racing) and England (also Ireland and Scotland a little bit).

So that's the good, we get to watch lots of sport surrounded by likeminded people who also love sport.  Some of the best days we've had here were centred on sport, Spurs winning THAT 2019 Champions League semi-final (we still have the CCTV footage of the crowd reaction to that last goal and it is priceless), England winning that Euros semi-final, the day Djokovic won the Wimbledon Men's Singles Final against Roger Federer at the same time England triumphed over New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup taking it to the first Super Over in history, running between screens to keep up with the action in both, Sergio Garcia winning The Masters in a sudden death play-off against Justin Rose. 

As the moron on the William Hill advert shouts "This is epic!!" 

And it is, but it comes at a cost.......  

Every rota (not to mention our life) is built around the fixture list, and who can tell whether the Spurs fans will turn out or be a bit Spursy this week? Not even the Spurs fan it turns out.  If it's on terrestrial TV, as the big events (6 Nations, Euros, World Cup) are, we share the spoils with anyone else who is showing it.  We spend £426.45 per week (that's an eye-watering £22,175.40 per year)on Sky & BT Sport combined, add £1000 per year for Amazon Prime Video so we can show the Autumn Internationals and the Premier League games televised through Amazon.  For a Box Office event we would have to book and fork out another £400-£500, so it needs to bring in an additional £2k (approximately) to be profitable.  To show Super Bowl we have to stay up until 5am after our regular Sunday kitchen shift (OK we would anyway because we love it), we also have to remember to organise the Temporary Event Notice, that's £21 plus it needs to be ticketed so the third party event promotion has to be organised, add in the cost of security, it's only profitable because we work the bar shift and therefore have no additional payroll cost.

International breaks for qualifiers are dreadful, Boxing Day is wonderful.  Monday Night Football, Friday Night Football, derbies, especially the North London Derby are great, except those Fulham v Everton Monday nights and those Southampton v Bournemouth Friday nights.  Champions League is great, until all the English teams are eliminated.  Europa League is good, especially when it features Arsenal, because those fans turn up for pretty much everything.  As for the Summer break, if it doesn't have a World Cup or Euros or one of those wonderous Summer Lions Tours what's the point?  Luckily we have a great pub garden so all is not lost while we eagerly await the start of the new season with all the other fans.  We are not just a sports pub, we're a community pub, we don't want to put people off who aren't interested in sport and do our best to appeal to everyone, unfortunately we also have to sometimes turn down private hire bookings because of a particular game which may or may not interfere (schedules are only released 6 weeks in advance).  It's a balancing act and one many pubs find difficult to achieve, at what point do the costs outweigh the benefits?  I predict it will be when Tottenham get relegated to the Championship, Tigers get relegated from the Premiership, Red Bull and Max Verstappen win every race and the golf, cricket and tennis get perpetually rained off.

bottom of page