FA May Show 3pm Games If They're Played Behind Closed Doors
Saturday 3pm kick offs that are currently banned from being televised could have their TV blackout lifted if games are played behind closed doors because of Coronavirus.
Sporting events in Europe have started to be moved behind closed doors, with some even postponed, because of the spread of coronavirus in some areas.
Football in England could in the future have to follow suit but to make sure fans could still watch games there could be a temporary lift of the ban on 3pm kick offs.
A source who was part of the initial talks told the Times, "It makes sense to remove the blackout but what we don't want to do is create a new problem by just moving those crowds from the stadiums to the pubs."
Matches in the EFL could be shown by the 'iFollow' service, with bans for pubs on showing the games in order to stop crowds spreading the virus in a different location, whilst Sky Sports and BT would show the 3pm Premier League games.
Then Burnley Chairman Bob Lord came up with the idea for the 3pm media blackout in the 1960s. The law stops any game kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday being shown on television.
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This was in order to make sure that fans didn't stay at home to watch 'bigger' clubs on television at home rather than go to watch their local team at the ground.
That stopped all games that kicked off between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday couldn't be shown on tele, apart from the Premier League.
Professor of Health Protection Jonathan Van Tam is worried about the movement of fans from grounds to pubs, with the source telling the paper, "He said there was probably more risk of the virus spreading in packed pubs than in open air stadia."
All Serie A games are being played behind closed doors for a month whilst several Champions League games have followed suit.
In the Six Nations some games have been postponed, and are unlikely to go ahead until October, and in tennis Indian Wells has been cancelled because of Coronavirus.
According to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport there is currently 'no rationale' to cancel sports events in the UK.
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