The Premier League are refusing to get rid of the 3pm TV blackout even as the The EFL consider making all their matches available for broadcast from 2024/25.

Harry Clarke celebrating a goal for Stoke City (Photo via Clarke on Twitter)
Harry Clarke celebrating a goal for Stoke City (Photo via Clarke on Twitter)

The EFL are targeting a major increase to their current £119m-a-year contract with Sky, hoping to earn £200m-a-year by luring Facebook, Netflix, Google, Apple, and Amazon into joining Sky Sports and BT Sport in bidding.

As the EFL courts proposals, they are reportedly making it clear they are willing to get rid of the Saturday blackout so that every game can be televised.

In order to make that happen, the EFL will also need to lobby the FA to apply to UEFA for an exemption.

As it stands, English football matches cannot be broadcast on live television in the UK between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday. That system has been in place since the 1960s to encourage supporters to attend matches in person.

As the blackout only applies when 50% of Premier League and Championship matches are due to kick off at 3pm on Saturday, moving half of the fixtures would also allow all games to be televised.

That could have a knock-on effect for the Premier League, who could then also televise their 3pm games, but the Premier League are not interested as a piece in Thursday’s Daily Telegraph shows:

Premier League refusing to abandon 3pm blackout The Daily Telegraph13 Oct 2022By Ben Rumsby and Tom Morgan Fans of Premier League clubs face being denied watching their teams live on television at 3pm on Saturdays even if the traditional blackout is scrapped.  The 2.45pm-5.15pm blackout could be axed under the English Football League’s new broadcast deal, the tender process for which was launched on Tuesday.  But Telegraph Sport has been told that even if 3pm Saturday EFL games are shown live, Premier League matches may not follow.  The world’s richest league has been a consistent supporter of the blackout, a stance that was echoed by more than one club in response to the news it could soon be axed.  Minutes for a meeting between Richard Masters, the Premier League chief executive, and fans’ representatives last year also stated he expected the league to “continue to back the protected window given its overall protections and benefits for the domestic game”. That includes preserving attendances at matches below the Premier League, something showing 3pm top-flight games would arguably put at risk.  Ending the blackout is opposed by members of the Football Supporters’ Association. Chief executive Kevin Miles said: “The UK’S footballing ecosystem is the envy of the world. Everyone is responsible for maintaining that environment in which football at all levels cannot just survive, but thrive – so the professional game should exercise extreme caution before contemplating the end of the 3pm blackout.”  The blackout could be scrapped from 2024 after the EFL launched a tender process that involved sending interested parties a “Request for Proposal” (RFP), which will allow interested parties to specify the length of any deal, in the hope of almost doubling its current £119million-a-year contract with Sky Sports.  DAZN is an early front-runner for the rights, but the EFL is also targeting Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Facebook and Google, in addition to Sky and BT Sport. Scrapping the blackout would require the approval of the Football Association.
Premier League refusing to abandon 3pm blackout – Daily Telegraph Sport section 13 October 2022

Only two Premier League games are due to kick-off at 3pm on Saturday this weekend.

That means out of the 20 teams in the division, UK fans of every side except Fulham, Bournemouth, Wolves, and Forest will be able to legally watch their side play this round of matches live.