The Premier League has confirmed that televised broadcasts of all matches will continue during the current UK lockdown.
Coverage will be provided by the league’s four primary broadcasters – Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and the BBC – from 30 January until the end of February.
The announcement follows league Chief Executive, Richard Masters’ confirmation that matches will remain behind closed doors for the rest of the season, following a recent surge in COVID-19 infections.
Although up to 2,000 spectators were able to attend games in December – the first time fans had entered a football stadium since March – the decision was reversed following the outbreak of a new coronavirus strain, prompting the UK government to initiative a third national lockdown..
A Premier League statement read: “The Premier League and its clubs are committed to an accessible solution for fans.
“These plans have been made with the cooperation of our broadcast partners, working with us to deliver these additional matches while stadiums are missing the supporters who are such an integral part of the game.”
Previous plans in late 2020 to offer Premier League matches as part of a pay-per-view deal were heavily criticised by fans, many of whom instead donated the £14.99 fee required to watch certain matches to charitable causes, such as local food banks.
The only match of the third lockdown to be broadcast on the free-to-air BBC will be the clash between West Bromwich Albion and Fulham, both of whom are fighting to avoid relegation, having only been promoted last season. The BBC’s iPlayer on demand service will also provide coverage of the game.
Sky Sports recent coverage of the 0-0 match between title contenders and fierce rivals Manchester United and Liverpool broke the broadcasters viewership record, drawing an audience of roughly 4.5 million.