Thursday 21 November 2019

Manchester City fans will have to subscribe to MUTV to watch United friendly

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola
Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola

James Ducker

Manchester City fans have been left seething after being told they face the ignominy of having to subscribe to Manchester United’s official television station if they want to watch the first derby match ever to be held outside the UK on Friday.

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho’s sides are due to lock horns at the NRG Stadium in Houston in the early hours on Friday in what will be the first meeting between City and United to be staged outside English shores after last summer’s scheduled fixture in Beijing was cancelled due to a shambolic pitch.

But because MUTV, United’s in-house television station, are the only rights holders for the game in the UK and Ireland, City supporters face the prospect of having to pay £7 to subscribe to the channel to watch the derby live unless they choose to stream the match illegally.

City fans reacted with a mixture of dismay and anger on Wednesday when City posted a tweet on Wednesday providing options of where fans can watch the game depending on which country they are in.

But City ended up removing the link from their official website after supporters took exception to the idea of having to pay their fiercest rivals to watch the match.

ESPN will screen the game in the US but not in the UK and Sky and BT Sport have not taken up rights to a fixture that is expected to attract a capacity crowd of around 70,000.

Dave Harris, one City fan, tweeted: “Rag TV….you’ve got to be joking!”.

Another fan, McLovin, tweeted: “I cant [sic] believe you’re trying to promote MUTV.”

City supporter Colin Moore said on Twitter: “So the only place we can watch it is on MUTV?” and David Gilmour tweeted that the embarrassment should be a signal to City to launch their own television channel. “So to watch this game City fans have to subscribe to MUTV,” the City fan said. “The sooner we get our own channel the better.”

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