Why UK fans can't watch El Clasico Barcelona v Real Madrid on weekend

Why UK fans will be unable to watch Barcelona vs Real Madrid this weekend as Jude Bellingham makes his El Clasico debut – and the ‘outdated’ law isn’t changing any time soon

  • Real Madrid currently sit top of La Liga after eight wins in their first 10 games
  • Barcelona are in third on 24 points, just one behind both Girona and Madrid 
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’ 

When Barcelona take on Real Madrid this weekend, it will be one of the most watched games across the world. 

The iconic fixture always seems to produce scintillating football with an added bonus of drama due to the fierce rivalry between the two Spanish giants. 

And for UK football fans, it’s an even more special occasion since Madrid superstar Jude Bellingham has taken La Liga by storm. 

Following in the footsteps of fellow British greats such as David Beckham and Steve McManaman, fans would have been hoping to catch a glimpse of the former Birmingham City player in Madrid white. 

But, due to a long-standing British law regarding broadcasting rights, Spain’s most famous fixture won’t be aired in the UK. 

Jude Bellingham has taken La Liga by storm after scoring 11 goals in 12 league matches so far

El Clasico is by far one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures of the season in La Liga

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Put in place since the 1960s, the UK’s 3pm TV blackout rule states that no football can be broadcast live between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday. 

And since El Clasico will kick off at 3.30pm in UK time on that day, it cannot be aired. 

Despite many feeling that this law should not be applied to foreign games, it was established to encourage people to attend stadiums.

Xavi’s side were also given an earlier kick off against Madrid as they travel to Shaktar Donetsk the next Tuesday for a 5.45pm Champions League game.  

Bellingham has played against Barcelona before in a pre-season friendly in Texas where they were beaten 3-0 by their arch rivals, but this will be his first time playing Barcelona in La Liga.

Although the match won’t be aired on British TV, you can follow Mail Sport’s social channels and live blog on the day to keep up with all the action. 


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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