Premier League could make free-to-air TV return if games go behind closed doors

Premier League games could be shown free-to-air while they are behind-closed-doors.

Sky and BT Sport will share the live rights of the remaining fixtures and have already held talks about showing extra games “behind the red button" with the expectation that football will return without fans in stadiums.

But TV bosses accept that they probably cannot show all of the games and league bosses actively want them to go out live to ensure that fans do not turn up to the stadiums for safety and security reasons.

That means there is the chance of some games being shown free-to-air with the bigger fixtures shown by Sky and BT Sport.

It is still being discussed and nothing has been agreed as to how it would work but, from a position of original scepticism, both the Premier League and TV companies may now consider it as an option.

Talks have been ongoing between the TV companies but the Premier League are determined to get the season completed to safeguard the broadcast deal and avoid having to pay back £750m in TV cash if they cannot complete the season.

Amazon bought two rounds of games in the last round of TV rights and showed games simultaneously and it is understood to have added huge numbers of subscribers but whether Sky and BT would allow them to be shown on a direct rival’s platform remains to be seen.

The Premier League will meet again on Friday with all 20 clubs taking part in a video conference call to discuss potential ways forward.

It is understood that the idea of players being kept in a strict quarantine in hotels – as revealed by Mirror Sport – will be one of several options on the table but voiding the season is not on the agenda.

But there is a determination to start the season again in June with all games currently postponed until April 30 which could mean a mini pre-season in May with fixtures being played again during the whole of June and finished in July.

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