SBC News Richard Masters: Premier League 3pm blackout to remain intact

Richard Masters: Premier League 3pm blackout to remain intact

Premier League CEO Richard Masters has stated that he is not planning to abolish the 3pm blackout on televising fixtures between 14:45 – 17:15.

The EFL has considered scrapping the ban and broadcasters have also said that they would look into it, but Masters has now made it clear that the league has no intention of getting behind this move.

The initial rule was set in place in the 1960s, after Burnley FC Chairman Bob Lord asserted that televised matches on Saturday afternoons would ‘negatively impact the attendance of lower league games’.

Speaking at the Financial Times’ Business of Football Summit, Masters commented: “We’ve been proponents of Article 48 for the entire period of the Premier League and I don’t see that changing in the near term.”

In recent weeks, fans have complained after not being able to watch certain big games, such as Arsenal’s 4-0 win against Everton.

This was not shown on TV in the UK because it was due to be held on a Saturday afternoon earlier this season, which also applies to the recent Liverpool vs Wolves clash.

The blackout was reviewed back in 2014 when fans wrote to Ofcom in a petition for it to be upheld.

Within UEFA’s 53 member nations, only England, Scotland and Montenegro adhere to Article 48. SPFL Chief Neil Doncaster has previously shown interest in scrapping the rule.

The rule was lifted during the COVID-19 when supporters were banned from stadiums, but was immediately brought back when restrictions were lifted.

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