WHY ARE THE MIDWEEK PREMIER LEAGUE GAMES NOT LIVE ON UK TV?
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 23
BURNLEY V SPURS
WATFORD V CRYSTAL PALACE
LIVERPOOL V LEEDSFULL LIVERPOOL, V LEEDS GAME BEING SHOWN ON SKY SPORTS PREMIER LEAGUE AT 10.15PM (SHORT HIGHLIGHTS PACKAGES OF ALL THREE GAMES ON SKY SPORTS FOOTBALL YOU TUBE CHANNEL)
THERE are three big games in the Premier League on Wednesday night affecting both the top and bottom of the table, but there will be no live UK TV coverage of any of them.
Why is the question many people are asking. Well it’s down to the complicated contractual arrangements rights-holders Sky, BT and Amazon have with the Premier League.
Under the terms of the deal, Sky and BT have the rights to typically five games each weekend match round in certain time slots. Sky usually have four of the picks and BT one.
There are separate arrangements for midweek and bank holiday fixture rounds – for example Amazon’s 20 games are two entire rounds of midweek and Christmas fixtures.
This Wednesday’s three matches are all re-arranged fixtures from rounds where they were not originally picked by broadcasters. Therefore Sky and BT’s contracted games from those fixture match rounds have already been used up.
Only re-arranged games which were originally picked by broadcasters only to be postponed, can be shown. That’s why Arsenal v Wolves on Thursday is being shown live on Amazon Prime Video, likewise Arsenal v Liverpool on Sky on Wednesday March 16.
The Premier League’s picking system also further complicates which games are shown with stipulations on the minimum and maximum a team can be played in certain time slots and across the season. This is why some less attractive matches raise eyebrows being selected for live TV screening.
Although Wednesday’s games are not live, Sky Sports Premier League is showing Liverpool v Leeds on delay in full from 10.15pm. Likewise mini highlights packages of the three Wednesday games will also be available via the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel soon after the final whistle.
While many fans will be left baffled by no live TV coverage on Wednesday night, the unusual situation has come about because of the high number of covid-related postponements in the league this season.
However, it will again raise questions as to whether all 380 Premier League games should be available for live TV screening. There will be no changes to the UK TV arrangements for a least another few years – the current deal with Sky, BT and Amazon deal, due to expire at the end of this campaign, has been extended for for another three seasons – see HERE.
ALL CONFIRMED PREMIER LEAGUE TV GAMES LISTED HERE