EXCLUSIVE: Premier League Productions ‘BRUTALLY’ axe reporters and presenters from their international TV broadcast coverage for next season, with well-known faces told they’re ‘jobless’ over Zoom
- A huge shake-up for Premier League Productions has seen presenters axed
- Insiders have told Sportsmail that verdicts were ‘brutally’ delivered over Zoom
- The broadcaster is moving towards producing more ‘timeless, digital content’
- As a result, well-known faces seen on PLP have been told they are ‘jobless’
Premier League Productions, the top flight’s international broadcaster, has axed a number of reporters and presenters in a radical overhaul that has left them open to allegations of ‘rank hypocrisy’.
In a huge shake-up, a number of full-time staff and freelancers were ‘brutally’ told their services would no longer be needed via a series of Zoom calls, insiders have disclosed.
From next season the broadcaster is moving away from their normal offering of studio news and analysis shows and moving to what has been described as ‘timeless, digital content’.
Premier League Productions have axed a number of their presenters and reporters over Zoom
Mark Pougatch (left) and Seema Jaswal (right) are among the familiar faces that have been used by the broadcaster
That means that a number of well-known faces, along with production crews, camera operators and logistics staff have been told that they are not having their contracts renewed or that their hours will be drastically reduced.
‘A lot of people who work four, five days a week have been told they won’t be required next season, or possibly just for matchdays and pressers,’ one source explained.
They added that many ‘saw the iceberg coming’ at a mass Zoom call when the shift in programming was announced. That was followed up by further calls to the many who had been impacted to outline a bleak future. ‘It was brutal,’ they said.
The broadcaster is undertaking a radical shake-up to move towards ‘timeless, digital content’
Another insider also hit out. ‘The way that longstanding staff have been treated is absolutely outrageous,’ they said.
‘It’s rank hypocrisy. There are vast amounts sloshing around the Premier League and yet staff are treated like this. Some good people stitched up. It’s not right.’
PLP, as it is known, is run by IMG Media for the Premier League.
A joint-operation, it produces and distributes all of the Premier League’s international programming, including the broadcasting of all 380 Premier League matches.
The likes of Kelly Cates, James Richardson, Seema Jaswal and Mark Pougatch have all worked on studio productions for the broadcaster.
An IMG spokesman said: ‘Premier League Productions aims to deliver the best possible programming output for international broadcasters and football fans around the world.
Kelly Cates (pictured working for Sky Sports) is among the high-profile presenters they use
‘Together with the Premier League, we regularly review our content portfolio and are evolving our offering for the next season.
‘As a result, there have been some small changes to the staffing structure to meet the new operational requirements.’
IMG insiders insist that the PLP headcount across the businesses is growing.
However, one member of staff hit out. ‘It’s not small changes to the staffing structure,’ they said.
‘This has impacted serious numbers who, in the climate we are in, are now effectively jobless. It stinks.’