20 Dec Premier League games will soon be shown live on Saturday night
Saturday night games are set to be introduced from the 2019/20 season, and its a big deal for television broadcasters.
The new Saturday 19:45 slot decision is all based on broadcasting rights and the money surrounding it. In 2015, a record-breaking TV broadcasting deal for was struck for £5.13 billion by Sky and BT. The new deal is set to break this previous price.
Bidding for the rights to show 200 live Premier League matches will now take place by broadcasters. With more than 50% of all Premier League matches now due to be shown live on TV. It has been made clear that no single broadcaster will be able to buy more than 148 games.
Sky and BT are amongst the obvious contenders for the live TV rights. There is also some question as to whether Amazon and Facebook will make any bids in the process. If these two digital companies did hold some of the TV rights for Premier League games this would drastically change the way that fans watch football. With both Amazon and Facebook being easily accessible, this could mean a cheaper and easier way to watch fans favourite teams in action.
However, there’s been some backlash against the decision to show Premier League games at such a time slot, with many fans stating that televised coverage of these games will leave stadiums empty as many opt to watch from the comfort of their sofas.
One of the main issues amongst fans is what this will mean for away supporters. For many, an away day means travelling the length of the country, setting off early in the morning and not arriving home until late that day.
With the game finishing late into the evening, fans will have to make the journey home late at night or be forced into staying in the city overnight, adding to the cost of attending an away game.
For many, football is taking over the week. Premier League games are being held on almost every day now and at all different times.
Live games can be held on Friday nights, Saturday at 12.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.45pm, Sundays at 2pm and 4.30pm and Monday nights at 8pm. There are also fixtures for mid-week games on Tuesday and Wednesday that are sometimes not televised. There is fear now that football and its coverage is becoming too much for some fans to handle.
For many Saturday nights are used for socialising with friends and family. Either sat round the TV with a takeaway, or at the pub. Up to now, popular shows such as the X-factor and Strictly Come Dancing had a majority control of TV audience, battling amongst themselves for viewing figures. Soon, they will both go head-to-head with the Premier League.
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