The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has used England's glorious 4-1 over Croatia to call on pay-TV broadcaster Sky to give pubs a break on sports subscriptions.
England's away matches in World Cup qualifying are screened exclusively on subscription-only Setanta Sports, meaning that only around 1.5 million England fans were able to watch the crucial match at home: compared with 11 million on the BBC when England lost to Croatia in November.
The ALMR warned that Sky's "prohibitive rates" for commercial Setanta subscriptions mean that there was a double whammy for fans as many pubs could not afford to show the game.
Sky's charge for a stand alone Setanta subscription for large pubs increased by 765% this year - from £2,650 to £22,935, according to the trade body.
Nick Bish, ALMR chief executive, said: "Sadly, Sky seems intent on pricing pubs out of screening matches, denying millions of fans the chance to enjoy the game. I'm sure Sky is enjoying its burgeoning profits but it is England's ordinary football fans that have missed out."
The ALMR recently claimed that the soaring cost of Sky satellite subscriptions has prompted 20% of pubs to abandon screening Sky sports over the past five years.
By Daniel Thomas
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