The Premier League is reportedly planning a significant shake-up in their television rights, which could result in 25% more matches being broadcast during the season. This move is set to revolutionize the way fans watch football, offering more flexibility and variety in viewing times.
Executives are expected to propose that four Premier League matches could be televised on Sunday afternoon. Matches would reportedly kick off on Sundays between noon and 6.30 pm as part of the shake-up. This new proposal comes as the Premier League faced pressure to scrap the 3 pm blackout on Saturdays, a long-standing tradition in UK football.
The new kick-off times on Sunday, as well as additional Friday and Monday slots, would reportedly appease broadcasters and clubs. The Premier League is expected to offer broadcasters four Sunday matches, a significant increase from the current schedule.
Potential impacts on other competitions and finances
The proposed changes could also see matches in the Women's Super League and Championship switched to the 3 pm slot on Saturday, increasing exposure to both competitions. This move could be a significant boost for these leagues, offering them a prime viewing slot and potentially attracting more fans.
It was reported in June that the Premier League was planning an increase in the number of live games shown each season from 200 to 270. This included all Sunday matches being made available by the start of the 2024-25 campaign, which would force fans to adapt to a variety of kick-off times throughout the day.
The move would bring a major cash boost to clubs playing in the Europa League, as all their games on the subsequent weekend will be televised. This would net them around £1 million-per-match in a Premier League facilities fee based on the current payments.
However, opposition to the changes could come from supporters. For instance, Man City supporters threatened to boycott this season's Community Shield over the kick-off time. The match against Arsenal in August had initially been due to kick off at 5:30 pm at Wembley but was moved to 4 pm after discussions between the Football Association, broadcasters, and the two clubs.
The future of Premier League TV rights
The top-flight's current domestic TV deal is worth £5 million over three years after the previous contract agreed in 2018 was extended without an auction during the pandemic. The Premier League is hopeful of securing a significant increase for the 2024 to 2027 cycle, particularly as more games will be on offer.
The Premier League's new TV rights deal could significantly change the landscape of sports broadcasting. While it may face opposition from some quarters, the potential benefits for clubs, broadcasters, and other competitions cannot be ignored. As sports fans and sports betting fans, these changes could offer more opportunities to engage with the sport we love.
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