Blackout on Saturday 3 pm kick offs could soon be over in the Football League
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The 3 pm blackout for Saturday football games in England could soon be over, as the tv rights deal comes up for negotiation once again.
In England, 3 pm kick offs on a Saturday can't be shown on television, in order to protect teams lower down the football ladder from losing out on match going fans.
It is something that has caused controversy over recent years, especially with viewers in other countries having access to every game in the Premier League.
Arsenal's dramatic 3-2 win over Bournemouth last month, having been two goals down, really put the issue under the microscope again, personally I was watching it in a bar in Copenhagen, just proving the problems.
The blackout was put on hiatus during the Covid-19 lockdowns, with games played behind closed doors, with Sky Sports initially hoping to charge fans for some games on a pay-per-view basis.
Last year, the EFL looked into potentially getting the blackout removed for the Championship, League One and League Two and asked for initial proposals from broadcasters on the basis of showing every game live, in order to see what kind of money was available.
Now, according to the Times, DAZN are ready to bid for all 1,656 games per season across the three tiers of English football below the Premier League.
It could lead to clubs having to choose between wanting to take more money from broadcasting but losing out on potential matchday revenue.
Sky Sports currently show 138 regular season games across the three divisions, as well as all the semi finals and finals of the end of season play-offs.
They would be one of the competitors to DAZN for the rights, along with Nordic streaming giant Viaplay, who have been showing international games across the Euro 2024 qualifiers recently.
The rights would start in 2024, with the bidding process expected to end sometime this summer, following the end of the current campaign.
Fans would perhaps resent the idea of having to have yet another subscription, with Premier League fans already having to pay for Sky, BT Sport and Amazon Prime Video to watch all the available games.
It has led to an increase in streaming, one of the reasons some argue the blackout is pretty pointless in modern football, something that rights holders really don't like.
Police recently warned that there would be a crackdown on streamers and that some fans would be visited and given letters to tell them to stop.
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