SBC News Premier League broadcasts rise to 270 but 3pm blackout remains

Premier League broadcasts rise to 270 but 3pm blackout remains

Live televised Premier League matches will jump from 200 to 270 per season under the terms of the new tender process for the next streaming rights deal between the Premier League and UK broadcasters.

A key factor that was also outlined is the commitment to keep the 3pm blackout intact for Saturday afternoon kick-offs. The blackout restricts UK broadcasters from airing live football from the pyramid between 2:45pm – 5:15pm on Saturday afternoons and has caused much controversy, but will remain in place during the next rights cycle.

However, the increase in televised games means a new TV slot will become available as part of the new proposed deal with broadcasters. 

The 2pm kick-offs on a Sunday – often reserved for English sides competing in the UEFA Europa League that same week – will now be televised, adding to the total amount of games shown on TV. 

Further new TV slots include an extra midweek round of games from four to five, whilst the Saturday 12:30pm and 5:30pm, Sunday 2pm and 4:30pm schedules, along with the 8pm Monday or Friday night slot remain in place. 

The next broadcast rights cycle will offer four live packages available for bidding networks. Game packages with between 42 and 65 matches will be available to broadcasters for the next four years once the current deal is finished. 

This signals the league’s first tender rights sale process since 2018 due to the Premier League extending its pre-existing deal in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The current broadcast deal, which expires at the end of the 2024-25 season, is worth over £5bn and is comfortably the most lucrative TV rights deal in the whole of Europe. The Premier League rights package is roughly double that of Italy, Spain and Germany and around four times the value of France’s Ligue 1.

The current deal sees Sky Sports host 128 matches per season, TNT Sports – formerly known as BT Sport – broadcast 52 matches, and Amazon hold a single package of 20 league games. 

Whilst the tender process will likely attract Sky Sports, TNT Sports and Amazon to renew, with more games becoming available, it would also potentially attract new suitors looking to get involved in football’s most valuable and commercially attractive league. 

DAZN Chief Financial Officer, Darren Waterman, has previously expressed interest in broadcasting league games in overseas markets on the streaming platform, but this could permeate into interest for domestic rights if the offer of more live games becomes enticing. 

Apple TV has also been active in the live sports broadcasting market, particularly being the exclusive MLS broadcast partner.

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