The rumours have been proved to be true, as the Premier League Live TV packages on offer from 2019/20 have been revealed on Friday morning.
For the first time ever, a majority of the Premier League games will be shown live each season as we move forward.
To drain even more money from the TV deals at even more inconvenience to fans who pay to go to matches, the Premier League clubs are auctioning off the rights to show live, 200 of the 380 matches each season.
The live games will be auctioned off to the highest bidder in seven packages, with no one broadcaster allowed to own the rights to more than 148 live PL matches.
One package will see the introduction of eight live games per season on Saturday nights, kicking off at 7.45pm.
Also covered within the packages are ones to include all games three midweek rounds of matches per season, plus one Bank Holiday as well.
Many football fans, especially those of Newcastle considering how far they have to travel away games in particular, will be amused to see the official Premier League announcement (see below) also use the word ‘exploitation’ a couple of times, I couldn’t have come up with a better word myself.
Official Premier League announcement:
‘The Premier League has made available to interested parties two separate Invitations to Tender for its UK live and free-to-air highlights rights for the three seasons 2019/20–2021/22.
These documents describe the packages of rights the Premier League is now inviting bids for:
– Live audio-visual rights to a total of 200 matches per season – split into seven packages.
– A Free-to-Air highlights package.
The Live rights consist of five packages of 32 matches and two packages of 20 matches per season.
No single buyer will be allowed to acquire more than 148 matches per season.
The packages include provisions for all matches in three midweek rounds per season, and one Bank Holiday round per season, to be broadcast live.
One package includes the rights to broadcast live a maximum of eight matches per season on Saturdays at 19:45.
This creates an attractive offering for broadcasters and fans, while allowing the continued protection of the Saturday 15:00 “closed period” – the purpose of which is to encourage attendances and participation at all levels of the sport at the traditional time at which English football takes place across the country.
The Premier League intends at a later date to conduct a separate sales process for a single Near-Live package encompassing:
– Near-live long-form rights to 180 non-live matches per season, for linear and on-demand exploitation.
– Internet clips rights to all 380 matches per season.
– The Live packages will be available for exploitation on a technology-neutral basis.’