The race for the next set of Premier League TV rights is underway with more live games than ever before being made available.
Broadcasters have been invited to bid for up to 270 matches per season, the most ever since the formation of the league.
They’ve been split into five separate packages of up to 65 games each with ALL the games moved back to a Sunday 2pm kick-off due to teams’ involvement in Europe to be broadcast live for the first time. Currently just one 2pm and 4.30pm match selected by the broadcasters can be screened on Sunday as part of the present deal.
It means up to seven games out of the ten on some weekends after European midweeks could be broadcast live.
A source at one broadcaster told Footie On TV: “In reality no extra games will be moved for TV purposes. The extra games being shown at 2pm on Sunday have only moved because teams have played in Europe on the midweek before, the only difference is they will now be shown live on TV. It was becoming increasingly infuriating for fans that these matches weren’t being shown on TV so it’s a sensible move by the Premier League.”
The other slots for TV games will remain the same with Saturday 12.30pm and 5.30pm kick-offs, Sundays 2pm and 4.30pm and Monday and Fridays 8pm. It’s thought all midweek and bank holiday matches will also be all screened live.
The Times also reports that every game on the final day of the season will be made available for broadcast.
The new contract will run for the four seasons from the 2025-26 campaign to 2028/29. Sky, TNT and Amazon hold the rights to live games until then.
Free-to-air highlights are also being auctioned off. Those rights are currently held by the BBC and shown through Match of the Day. Other “near-live” rights are also available, similar to the 5.15pm mini-highlights packages Sky currently hold and show via its app and YouTube channel along with its Game of the Day and Match Choice offerings on a Saturday night.
Sky and TNT will bid again for live rights. Amazon, which has already secured some Champions League games from next season, and sports streaming service DAZN are likely to bid for some packages too. The high cost of the rights could put them out of reach of free-to-air broadcasters BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, but they could all battle it out for the highlights package.