Broadcasters confirm all 92 matches will be screened when Premier League resumes
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Broadcasters have confirmed that all of the Premier League’s remaining 92 matches will be screened when English football’s top flight resumes on Wednesday, June 17.
Sky Sports have confirmed that 25 of their 64 matches will be available for non-subscribers, while the BBC will be able to show four matches on terrestrial TV, the first time the corporation have been able to show a live match since the Premier League started in 1992.
Fellow broadcasters BT Sport and Amazon will show the remaining games, which ensures all 92 behind-closed-doors matches will be televised.
BT announced they will be showing 20 matches and giving customers “a further bill credit to the value of 50pc of their BT Sport monthly subscription”.
Football in England was suspended on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic but is now on course to resume on June 17, provided the government remains satisfied with the country’s overall recovery and the Covid-19 reproduction rate remains below the required level.
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The first matches will take place on Wednesday, June 17 with Sheffield United hosting Aston Villa and Arsenal heading to Manchester City, the two games postponed due to the League Cup final, in which City beat Villa 2-1.
The full fixture list is yet to be released but timings have, with games on a Friday to kick off at 8pm and on Saturday the slots will be 12.30pm, 3pm, 5.30pm and 8pm.
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Sunday matches will kick off at either 12pm, 2pm, 4.30pm and 7pm, with Monday games starting at 8pm. Midweek games on Tuesdays and Wednesday will be at either 6pm or 8pm.
It’s understood the Premier League clubs reached an agreement in principle on the rebate to broadcasters due to the delay to the season, which was reportedly due to be £340million in the event of games being played behind closed doors - with the bigger clubs to pay more as they receive more of the broadcast money.
The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, welcomed Thursday’s developments, saying: “Positive to see further steps on the return of football today.
“I’ve been pushing for as many games as possible to be free to view and for the return of the top league to support the whole football family.
“We are still working on government guidance before we green light sports’ return.”
A decision on neutral venues has still not been made yet, with reports suggesting some high-risk games could still have to be played at a neutral venue, such as Liverpool’s home clash with Everton.
Dowden’s reference to “supporting the whole football family” also indicates the hope from government that the Premier League restart may put it in a position to provide financial help to the EFL, where League One and Two clubs are facing up to the prospect of ending their seasons.
Norwich City also have a home FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United outstanding, which was due to be screened by the BBC. The FA have confirmed that game is due to be played during the weekend of June 27-28.
The Canaries are six points from safety with nine games left to save their top-flight status, at home against Southampton, Everton, Brighton, West Ham and Burnley, and away to Arsenal, Chelsea, Watford and Manchester City.