All EPL Matches To Be Televised

August 30, 2020

- Grant Whittington

The FA has confirmed that following the decision to lift the traditional Saturday 3pm TV blackout for the duration of the start of the 2020/2021, it will now be possible for all behind-closed-door Premier League matches to be broadcast.

What this means is that until such time as spectators are cleared to attend live games in-stadium, the FA will be at liberty to negotiate with broadcasters the live airing of all top-flight games. Not unlike the prevailing situation last season, the leeway furthermore means that clubs will be permitted to provide season ticket holders with game-day codes authorising said ticket holders to stream all of the live match action into the comfort and viewing pleasure of their own homes.

Massive Improvement Over 40%

According to a story recently compiled by a prominent global news publication, which publication enjoys a large readership in the UK, the original contracts between the Premier League and major broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sports, would have resulted in only about 40% of all season-games being televised at all – let alone live broadcast.

Fears over fans illegally streaming matches have however reportedly prompted competition organisers to reassess the situation by instead of following the initial provisions of said contracts, enter into re-negotiations with television broadcasters.

This will not be the first time the 3pm TV blackout rule is lifted. The same lift applied during last season’s Premier League Restart campaign. Last year’s lift resulted in all restart Premier League games being live aired on a variety of channels. Broadcasters involved with the television of live matches last year included national broadcaster the BBC, Twitch, BT Sport, and Sky Sports.

Since last year’s Premier League request to broadcasters moved for some of the games played to be made available on a free-to-air basis ultimately led to Sky Sports airing some fixtures on Pick, the league has decided to not follow a similar route of action this year.

3pm Lift Is Conditional

The mentioned news story furthermore placed strong emphasis on the fact that the mentioned 3pm blackout will only remain lifted for as long as fans aren’t permitted to attend Premier League games physically and in person. Just as soon as fans and supporters are permitted to make their return to stadiums on game-days, the traditional ban will be re-instated with immediate effect, reporters have confirmed.

Of interest to note too is that the EPL has confirmed having authorised clubs to stream all non-Sky Sports televised matches. This following an agreement inked alongside the major UK sports broadcaster. Each club will reportedly be at liberty to decide over the broadcasting rights related to its own non-Sky Sports matches.

Match broadcasting access fees have however been fixed at a set price of £10 per fixture viewed – with season ticket holders being the obvious exceptions in terms of the payments rule.

EPL Had Insight In Guidelines

The EPL earlier on this year gladly welcomed permission granted by the UK Government relating to the conditional return of competitive sport. Sports played “behind closed doors” formed part of so-called “Stage Three” guidelines, which guidelines were reportedly developed in close consultation with England’s deputy chief medical officer, Public Health England, and a host of medical experts across Olympic, Paralympic, and a wide array of other sports governing bodies – including, most notably, the English Premier League.

The guidelines were compiled in such a way that clear guidance would be provided regarding those processes and facilities required to be first put into place before such time as competitions would be permitted to be played – with or without fans physically present.

The Premier League at the time of the initial no-fans publication of Stage Three guidelines welcomed the ruling and outcome, adding also that no favourable ruling would have been possible without the full support of Government and Public Health England.

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