IT’S only be the middle of December but the Premier League title race appears to be over and the Ashes are pretty much done and dusted.

Why not cancel those Sky Sports and BT Sport subscriptions and use the money saved to buy a half season ticket at Newport County AFC?

The X Factor is over, I’m a Celebrity is finished and Strictly is nearly at an end so there really is no excuse to linger indoors.

And what better incentive is there to leave the house and get down to Rodney Parade than the news that new series’ of Dancing on Ice and Celebrity Big Brother are just around the corner?

Nothing beats the atmosphere at a cracking live game like Saturday’s 3-3 thriller against Carlisle United.

And Michael Flynn’s men are perfectly poised for a play-off push in the second half of the campaign – just a point off the top-seven after 21 games.

Half season tickets will give you access to every home League Two match until the end of the 2017-2018 season from January 1 (including the New Year's Day clash with Exeter City).

The cost of between £160 and £180 for adults is the equivalent of two to three months of sport TV packages and for 12 games it works out at £13.33 to £15 per match.

Seniors can attend for £12.58 per game, young adults for as little as £4.16, under-16s for just £2.08 and under-12s an incredible £1.54. Under-6s go free.

That seems like pretty good value to me.

The club has, however, attracted criticism from some fans this week for raising ticket prices for the FA Cup third round clash with Leeds United in January.

Most supporters will have to pay an extra £3 for the tie against the Championship club compared to the match-day prices for a regular League Two fixture.

In mitigation, the club says that ticket prices have been set in conjunction with Leeds and are “reflective of the tie and additional resourcing and police costs which are associated to the match.”

Tickets were reduced by £2 for the previous rounds against Cambridge United and Walsall so the prices more or less even themselves out for the cup run and the Leeds tie is undoubtedly a bigger attraction.

But many fans will justifiably point out that the £48,000 TV fee, which the club will receive from the Football Association’s broadcast fund, could have covered the additional costs associated with staging the match.

There is always excitement when any County match is selected for live TV coverage and the money banked will soften the blow of missing out on the lucrative trip to a Premier League giant (at least in the third round).

The move to a midday kick-off on Sunday, January 7, to accommodate the BBC Wales cameras is less than ideal, however.

I highlighted last week in this space the fact that Saturday 3pm kick-offs are statistically way more popular than any other times.

After Saturday’s crowd of 3,176, the traditional kick-off time has now produced an average crowd of 3,574 over six home games so far this season.

Tuesday night, Friday night, Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon kick-offs in the league and FA Cup average out at just 2,703 over six matches.

Such an early start on a Sunday will put off some regulars and countless others who may have been tempted to come along will now opt to watch from the comfort of home.

Leeds fans also have that option with BBC One Wales available throughout the UK on digital platforms but the club will still be confident of selling out the 1,030 away allocation.

And the match should easily beat this season’s highest attendance of 4,332 for the Chesterfield clash back in August but it’s hard to see it matching the 7,326 that packed into Rodney Parade for the Great Escape finale against Notts County in May.

Talking of which, (shameless plug alert) if you can’t afford a half season ticket then my new book – The Great Escape: Newport County 2016-17 (out this week in all good bookshops) – will make the perfect Christmas gift for the Exiles fan in your life.

South Wales Argus: