Tuesday 20 August 2019

Saturday night Premier League games expected from 2019

Gareth Barry of West Bromwich Albion lines up for his record breaking appearance under the Premier League logo before the Premier League match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at Emirates Stadium on September 25, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/WBA FC via Getty Images)
Gareth Barry of West Bromwich Albion lines up for his record breaking appearance under the Premier League logo before the Premier League match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at Emirates Stadium on September 25, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/WBA FC via Getty Images)

Sports Staff

Premier League fans can expect Saturday night football from 2019 after club chairmen voted unanimously to shoehorn extra televised games into the schedule.

A minimum of 190 Premier League games - up from 168 - will now be televised live in Britain from the start of the 2019/20 season, with the rights set to go out to auction before Christmas in what is expected to be the most lucrative tender yet.

Saturday night games will ensure that the Premier League has nearly 10 hours of consecutive broadcast, beginning with the 12:30 kick-off currently shown by Sky Sports. The '3pm window' is blacked out for broadcast in the UK but is available overseas before a 17:30 kick-off shown on BT Sport.

An evening kick-off, expected to be either 19:45 or 20:00, would follow that and compete directly with two of Britain's most-watched television shows.

The BBC's Strictly Come Dancing typically attracts around 10m viewers, while the X Factor in ITV brings in around 4-5m. No Premier League game shown on a subscription channel would ever get close to those figures but it is a bold move to try and compete, albeit a necessary one as Premier League clubs look to bring in football's biggest-ever broadcast deal.

While the feeling at traditional television companies is that tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google are not yet ready to bid for the rights, the Premier League has clarified that rights are sold on a territorial - and not a technological - basis, meaning there is no barrier as to who could enter the fray.

Indeed, Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward recently insisted that Facebook and Amazon 'absolutely' will be in the race for the upcoming package.

The BBC's Strictly Come Dancing typically attracts around 10m viewers, while the X Factor in ITV brings in around 4-5m. No Premier League game shown on a subscription channel would ever get close to those figures but it is a bold move to try and compete, albeit a necessary one as Premier League clubs look to bring in football's biggest-ever broadcast deal.

While the feeling at traditional television companies is that tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google are not yet ready to bid for the rights, the Premier League has clarified that rights are sold on a territorial - and not a technological - basis, meaning there is no barrier as to who could enter the fray.

Indeed, Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward recently insisted that Facebook and Amazon 'absolutely' will be in the race for the upcoming package.

Independent News Service

The Throw-In: Tipp throw off the shackles while Kilkenny’s soul-searching begins

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport