The weekends will host twenty hours of live Premier League football matches starting in mid-June.
() and Sky are set for unprecedented levels of football coverage in the coming weeks, which will be great news for content starved sports fans and for the subscription-based broadcasters.
Every second of play from the remaining 92 EPL games will be broadcast live by existing rights holders Sky, BT, Amazon Prime and the BBC (which will broadcast its first live league games since the Premier League’s inception in 1992).
Leaked, but not yet confirmed, scheduling envisages 10 hours of live football every Saturday and every Sunday – with games played one at a time, kicking off at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm – followed by additional fixtures on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
The restart will mean the Premier League clubs will avoid over £700mln of potential penalties, had they not fulfilled the contracted number of live games.
Germany’s Bundesliga resumed in mid-May, meanwhile, Italy’s Serie A league will also restart in June.
Earlier this month it was speculated that billions of viewers could tune in to the Bundesliga games, as play resumed, but without the same worldwide razzle-dazzle that the English Premier League typifies the actual number of non-German fans watching das Fußball is believed to have been much lower.
Expectations nevertheless remain high for the Premier League’s viewing numbers.
Significantly, for the broadcasters, it will means additional cashflow from advertising and subscription fees.
Back in March, Sky, which is now part of Corporation () allowed customers to suspend payments until its live sports coverage resumed – the minimum Sky Sports subscription costs £23 per month, on top of Sky’s core TV packages.
Premier League football resumes on 17 June and it is reported today, in the red-top tabloid papers, that Sky will start charging its sports subscribers again from 19 June. Even though these plans aren’t confirmed, there have already been complaints given that a wide range of other sporting events remain suspended or cancelled.
“Sky Sports won’t be able to offer the depth and breadth of football, golf, cricket, F1 and other sports that fans expect for some time,” Nick Baker, of consumer website USwitch.com, is quoted in The Sun.
“Many customers may feel hard done by if they have to pay full price for a service that isn’t what they signed up for.”
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