The Independent have reported that the government want some of the remaining Premier League matches to be shown for free if footballing action resumes next month.
The Premier League has been given the green light to resume in mid-June by the UK government, unless there is a further spike in cases (ESPN).
The government have said that the resumption of live sport is key to lifting the morale of the nation which has been affected due to the lockdown.
They are also said to be in “ongoing discussions” with the FA and the Premier League about making some matches free to air.
However, the Premier League has to balance the wishes of the government with the interests of the broadcasters, who could be owed in excess of £350 million due to the diminished quality of the product, with games behind held behind closed doors (Evening Standard).
The Government is said to be hopeful that the removal of the Saturday afternoon 3 pm blackout of games will allow some to be shown for free.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden is quoted as saying: “Those discussions (about free-to-air broadcast) are ongoing, I am having productive discussions… the latest ones with Premier League, the EFL and the FA.
“I hope we can sort this out and also hope we can get more money going into the sport of football. I think we can find ourselves in a win-win situation.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Allowing games to be free-to-air would be a great move by the Premier League and would give the nation a much-needed distraction amidst the lockdown. However, there are likely only going to be a few games shown for free as Sky and BT would want to exclusively televise the big matches that they have already secured the rights for.
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