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No more blanket football broadcasting in post-pandemic UK, claims report

Football fans in England are set to be disappointed with a new report claiming that the English Premier League has no plans to continue its current state of broadcasting every league match in a post-pandemic world.

As a part of the league’s project restart, all 92 of the remaining matches are being staged behind closed doors and broadcast between Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and – for the first time – the BBC. Almost half of these matches are available for free and the league has suspended its Saturday 3pm broadcast blackout rule in order to make the matches available.

However, according to a report from sports news site The Athletic this will be a short-lived plethora of football broadcasting with the league going back to its normal broadcast model for the 2020-21 season.

This will be the case even though matches in the EPL are expected to be played without a crowd for the foreseeable future.

The league’s rights will go back to their pre-pandemic broadcasters, with Sky Sports and BT Sport showing the lion’s share of matches and Amazon streaming 20 matches over two matchdays. The BBC, which was handed four matches in the restart, will just show highlights with its weekend Match of the Day programme.

The report suggests that this plan to go back to the regular broadcast model while fans are still unable to attend matches in person will likely see an increase in pirate broadcasts, which cost the league approximately £1 million of revenue per fixture in the 2018-19 season.