With Premier League matches still to be played behind-closed-doors, the FA has confirmed that the traditional Saturday 3pm TV blackout will not be imposed at the beginning of the season.
As a result, this means that all top flight games can now be made available to viewers until crowds start to come back to stadiums if broadcasters can secure rights.
According to The Times, the Premier League was considering keeping its contracts with BT Sport and Sky Sports the same, which would result in 40 per cent of the games this campaign not being televised. However, the tournament organisers feared that fans would result in watching illegal streams since they wouldn’t be able to attend the games physically.
Additionally The Times has also reported that the 3pm blackout is only being lifted temporarily and is set to be imposed again once fans return to grounds.
This isn’t the first time that the 3pm blackout has been voided with the rule also being lifted during the Premier League’s Project Restart last campaign. As a result all remaining Premier League games were aired on a variety of channels and platforms including the BBC and Twitch alongside BT Sport and Sky Sports.
The top-tier ban will also allow clubs to provide season ticket holders with match-day codes to stream home matches, similarly to last season.
However, unlike the 2019/20 campaign it has been reported that broadcasters will not be asked to make some games free-to-air, which resulted in Sky Sports airing fixtures on Pick.
The news of all Premier League fixtures potentially being aired whilst COVID-19 guidelines are being implemented follows on from the EFL’s decision to allow non-Sky Sports televised matches to be streamed by its clubs.
As a result of its partnership with Sky Sports, EFL fans will be able to pay £10 per match to see the team’s home fixtures. Alternatively, season ticket holders will gain access to every home game whilst crowds are banned from stadiums.