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Clubs face £36m weekly TV rebate if season runs past end date

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Premier League clubs will have to pay an extra £36 million (€40m) in rebates to the broadcasters for every week the season goes beyond its official end date of July 16. (stock photo)

Premier League clubs will have to pay an extra £36 million (€40m) in rebates to the broadcasters for every week the season goes beyond its official end date of July 16. (stock photo)

Alex Dodd

Premier League clubs will have to pay an extra £36 million (€40m) in rebates to the broadcasters for every week the season goes beyond its official end date of July 16. (stock photo)

Premier League clubs will have to pay an extra £36 million (€40m) in rebates to the broadcasters for every week the season goes beyond its official end date of July 16.

The payment is on top of the £330m (€370m) that broadcasters are due, even if the remaining 92 games of the ­2019-'20 campaign are completed. If the season is abandoned with no more games played then the sum due back to Sky Sports, BT Sport and international broadcasters is £762m (€854m).

There is a sliding scale of payments due, depending on when the season is ­finished. Full details of the financial ­rebate models are expected to be ­presented to the 20 clubs at one of the Premier League's conference calls scheduled for next week.

The league had hoped the season would resume on June 12, but that is already accepted as unlikely, after managers lobbied hard for extra time to prepare players. June 19 is now believed to be the earliest possible start date, a delay likely to have already cost clubs another £36m.

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However, that will be regarded as a small price to pay if it means games can go ahead, especially given the scale of rebate due if the campaign is curtailed. Even so, clubs are angry that broadcasters are due £330m even if the season is completed, and they want to know why.

Distributed At next week's meetings the Premier League, through an advisory group of four clubs and Sky Sports, will present ideas about how the remaining games, to be played behind closed doors, can be shown. That includes how the 45 of the 92 matches which are not as yet scheduled to be televised will be ­distributed among broadcasters, with more for Sky Sports and BT Sport and including probably a small number for the BBC to help satisfy government ­free-to-air demands.

There will also be a discussion about scheduling, with games planned to be staggered across weekends and weekdays. Talks are also ­expected to cover what extra access the broadcasters are likely to be given, ­including cameras in dressing-rooms and tunnels, and half-time interviews.

The league is looking to see how it can enhance the experience for viewers, because although the Bundesliga matches were a success, there was an acceptance that it was a sterile spectacle. Ideas are being considered to deal better with the absence of fans, which could ­include adding artificial fan noise.

The argument from the broadcasters for the scale of the rebate is that they have shed huge numbers of subscribers, who are not certain to return, and behind-closed-doors football is a different product to the one they paid for. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk