The Premier League will reportedly return with a television bonanza for armchair viewers, which ironically are the only viewers able to watch matches now. It has been reported that we could see five matches broadcast live on a Saturday with a further five on a Sunday with kickoffs at noon, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm each day.
The Premier League are looking to get the majority of the 92 remaining matches of the season to be played predominantly on a weekend to complete the season, seeing it finish in August. There is also pressure from broadcasters to show midweek matches, similar to the UEFA Champions League format – showing at 6pm and 8pm.
There will be a meeting on Thursday this week in which the fixture list will be discussed as the powers that be want to find parity in finishing the season quickly whilst not making the future list too crowded for all clubs involved. It would seem that this could be the right thing to be doing. It would be good to be able to watch each and every match.
Spreading out the fixture list with matches each weekend would give players enough time to recover but would prolong the season’s completion, adding midweek matches would shorten the process. It is not yet know what is going to happen with the Emirates FA Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League.
It is stated that Premier League clubs are keep to comply with the broadcasters demands as collectively, they face the prospect of paying £340 million back regarding television rights, which could jump to a whopping £762 million if the season culminates with the remaining matches not being played, which will mean massive losses for some.
It has been stated that the Premier League has a ‘strategy for rebate minimisation’ on Thursday’s agenda, which means they will try to keep the live broadcast rights holders – Sky, BT Sport and Amazon happy. Government officials have suggested that some of the remaining matches should be broadcast on free-to-air.
However, Sky and BT Sports will not be too happy with the likes of the BBC getting live football out of the deal for nothing, which would, in effect, go against the deal the two companies have with the Premier League. Both BT and Sky will have 47 of the remaining 92 matches with the other 45 split with sky getting 32, BT getting eight and Amazon and the BBC possible getting five.
Sky and BT will be hoping that subscribers that paused their subscriptions because of the suspension of world football, will unpause them to continue watching the action. The Football Association will have to factor in the resumption of the FA Cup with most matches played behind closed doors at Wembley.
The ban on live football to be televised between 3pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday has temporarily been lifted, which could, in my opinion, be the makeweight in that ban being lifted permanently. If football was available to be broadcast live on television platforms in the UK, like it is abroad, illegal avenues would not be needed.