PL’s TV plan includes back-to-back games and Champions League style format

Premier League games will return with a TV bonanza for armchair viewers.

It could see five matches shown live back-to-back every Saturday and the same on a Sunday with kick-offs starting at 12 noon, then 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm.

The Premier League are planning to get the majority of the remaining 92 games shown over the course of weekends to complete the fixture list which would mean the season runs into August.

But there is also a push from broadcasters to show games midweek in a Champions League style double-header format which could see them kick off at 6pm and 8pm.

The fixture list will be discussed in detail at Thursday’s Premier League meeting along with the plans for TV schedules as they want to find a balance between finishing the season quickly but to also spread out games for TV and to help clubs avoid injuries with a overcrowded fixture list.

Clubs are keen to accommodate the broadcasting demands as they face huge bills of £340m to pay back to TV companies even if the season is completed and a staggering £762m if they cannot play the remaining games.

The Premier League have got a “strategy for rebate minimisation” on Thursday’s agenda which means they will try to keep live rights holders Sky, BT Sport and Amazon happy.

Government officials have urged the Premier League to make some of the games free-to-air on terrestrial TV but the idea of BBC getting live games is unlikely to go down well with Sky and BT.

Sky and BT have the live rights to 47 games, the remaining 45 – which would all be shown by foreign rights holders – would be shared with Sky getting 32, BT would get eight, five to Amazon and the BBC.

Sky and BT Sport will be anxious to ensure that any subscribers who paused or cancelled during the coronavirus return with the promise of a bonanza of live football.

They are also likely to factor in the outstanding games as Manchester City have a game in hand against Arsenal and Aston Villa also have an extra game against Sheffield United.

The Football Association will also be determined to play out the FA Cup with all games set to be shown live and most could be played behind-closed-doors at Wembley.


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