All of the 92 remaining Premier League matches would be shown live on TV with selected games shown free to air via Sky and BT Sport’s YouTube channels, under proposals being discussed with broadcasters.
Most of the matches — which are to be played in empty stadiums under a plan to restart top-flight football — would be on Sky and BT Sport’s pay-TV platforms but a few would be shown by Amazon, according to the plan. The BBC would potentially be permitted to show highlights more often but it is unlikely any games would be live on terrestrial TV.
The government has raised the idea of matches being available on free-to-air platforms but will not push for them to be on terrestrial TV and it is understood to be happy that the majority will be on pay-TV.
Much of the pressure for the Premier League to finish the season is to protect £762 million in TV money that would otherwise have to be repaid to the broadcasters. Matches have been suspended since March 13 because of the coronavirus pandemic and are planned to resume in neutral grounds on June 12 to finish at the start of August. Of the 92 top-flight matches left, 47 were already planned to be shown live and most of those on Sky, which holds the majority of the rights.
The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, revealed two weeks ago he had raised the issue of TV coverage with the Premier League. He said then: “It wouldn’t send the best signal if they were one of the first major sports to resume behind closed doors, and the public at large couldn’t have access to it. (Source: drawn from The Times)