Premier League to make huge TV rights overhaul by allowing broadcasters to buy extra matches
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The Premier League is planning to make another huge overhaul to its TV rights deal, by giving broadcasters the chance to buy extra matches.
Broadcasting schedules are always a hot topic of conversation for supporters, but this season the subject has irked fans more than usual.
There have been several occasions this season when big Premier League matches - rescheduled for various reasons - went untelevised despite vacant broadcast slots.
Such instances have left supporters frustrated, with matches played at awkward times not even available to watch on TV.
That was the case with Manchester United's recent midweek matches against Leeds and Brentford, which were not televised after being rescheduled.
Over the FA Cup quarter-final weekend in March, scheduling restrictions prevented Sky Sports from broadcasting Arsenal's 4-1 win against Crystal Palace despite the match kicking off in the Sunday 2pm slot.
A number of clubs have reportedly grown frustrated with the situation, so the Premier League has decided to act.
According to Mail Sport, the Premier League will allow broadcasters to buy extra matches not originally scheduled to be televised in the next rights cycle from 2025 to 2028.
The Premier League is also expected to sell more matches for the 2025/26 to 2027/28 seasons, following the example set for the EFL.
Insiders predict that the policy changes will see the number of matches included in the deal increase from 200 to between 260 and 280.
While there will be much more football available to watch from the comfort of one's sofa, football traditionalists might not be too pleased with the news.
The 2:45pm to 5:15pm Saturday blackout is set to stay in place, meaning that an increase in televised games would reduce the number of Saturday 3pm kick-offs.
The change in broadcast rights could result in an average of just three Premier League games kicking off at 3pm on Saturdays across the season's 34-weekend rounds.
The argument could be made that that's a good thing for lower league clubs, who could offer the 3pm football that many Premier League match-goers are set to miss out on.
Regardless of scheduling, the fact remains that the Premier League selling television rights to multiple different broadcasters - each requiring subscriptions - makes watching Premier League football extremely expensive for fans.
The process for allotting the next round of rights will begin in October.
With Sky, the newly rebranded TNT Sports and Amazon set to bid again, the match-viewing experience isn't about to get any cheaper.