Premier League Lifts 3pm Saturday Blackout for Sky Sports Matches in Landmark Move


Premier League Lifts 3pm Saturday Blackout for Sky Sports Matches in Landmark Move

The Premier League will overrule the 3pm blackout rule for a Sky Sports fixture next month.

Fixtures cannot be broadcasted live in the UK at the traditional kick-off time due to a long-standing regulation, which has been in place since 1987.

Action between 2.45pm and 5.15pm cannot be shown, with only early and late kick-offs able to be televised.

The blackout, which is to stop fans from staying at home to watch from their sofas, was temporarily lifted during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when fans were unable to attend as games were played behind-closed-doors.

But as a one-off, the Premier League are going against the prohibition for Manchester City's visit of Leeds.

The champions were scheduled to host the Yorkshire outfit at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday 7 May for a 2pm kick-off.

However, it has now been communicated that the fixture has been moved forward a day because City play Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu two days later.

It still remains a Sky Sports TV fixture but it wasn't possible to have the game played at lunchtime because of King Charles' coronation, which gets underway on Saturday morning.

The later, 5:30 kick-off was also out of question because the coronation takes the bulk of the policing resources.

Thus, a decision was reached to have the match take place at 3pm but available to fans across the country and not just those with a dodgy stream.

It could be a sign of things to come, as there's talk that the 3pm blackout could be abolished lower down the pyramid.

At present, if not at the game, fans have to watch their team play on the iFollow streaming service and pay £140 for a seasonal pass.

But last month, The Times claimed DAZN are ready to bid for all 1,656 games per season in the EFL.

Still, they would have to get permission from both the FA and UEFA, who stipulate that games cannot be televised if 50% of matches are played in the time slot.

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