It looks like I am being proved very accurate of my assessment on the Premier League live TV games.

Just under three weeks ago, the latest additions to the PL live schedule were released.

These covered games throughout April.

The stand out, and laughable, thing about them, was that only one of the 20 games didn’t involve at least one club from the ‘big six’.

West Ham v Stoke the only one, whilst Newcastle’s only live fixture was against Arsenal of the ‘big six’.

Back then (see below), I wrote that whilst it was a joke anyway to basically just go through and pick every match featuring those ‘big six’ clubs, to do so this season was really bizarre and stupid.

Firstly, even by the end of February it looked like there was going to be next to nothing to play for amongst those top six clubs.

Secondly, with at least half the PL clubs still involved in the tightest relegation struggle for years, the TV broadcasters’ decision was baffling, in all but totally ignoring it (apart from when ‘lesser’ clubs happened to be playing those at the top).

This is how the Premier League table looks now:

premier league live tv games

Back at the end of February, Manchester City led Man Utd by 13 points, now it is 16 points with only eight games left – the title race completely over.

Maybe the most pointless thing at the end of February was that all four of Arsenal’s matches were named as live games, back in February they were 10 points off the Champions League places and now 13 points off fourth with only the eight games left.

The only possible issue at the top that looked like it might still be live when April comes around, was whether Chelsea could make a fight of it for the Champions League places.

Back in February (see below) I expressed scepticism on that and predicted that by April it was likely Chelsea would be all but out of the running.

Chelsea actually play Spurs on 1 April (this game was picked for TV in the previous selection of games, with then the 20 in the rest of April revealed at the end of February) and if Tottenham win, they would then be eight points clear of Chelsea with seven games to play, so basically all the Champions League places could be sorted before any of the 20 Premier League live TV games in the rest of April go ahead.

Meanwhile, apart from West Brom who are well gone, you still have between seven and ten clubs still battling against filling the other two relegation spots.

There isn’t even anything to play for anymore when it comes to finishing third or fourth, as instead of the fourth club having to then play in a qualifying round for the Champions League group stage, all the top four now go straight into that group stage.

My article on The Mag – 28 February 2018:

The latest schedule of Premier League Live TV games have been revealed.

Sky Sports and BT Sport announcing the games they have chosen for April.

There were 20 matches revealed and after those April games there is only one more round of Premier League matches before then the final day of the season.

If you hadn’t heard already, Newcastle have just one live TV match in April, the home game with Arsenal moved to Sunday 15 April with a 1.30pm kick-off.

I’m really pleased that myself and other travelling Newcastle supporters have had some respite from difficult to get to matches being moved to awkward dates/times.

However, the Premier League Live TV games overall, are a total joke in that vital last full month of matches.

Of the 20 games selected (full list below), only one, West Ham v Stoke, doesn’t include a club from the top/big six.

All the other 19 matches include at least one team from that elite/favoured group.

It is almost as though they have gone down the list of games and selected every single one of the games that involve those teams, with only a limit on the total number permitted for live screening, stopping them selecting all of them.

This is how many times each of the top six are on in April:

4 Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal

3 Chelsea, Tottenham

When you consider that these are the same teams we will have on TV in the European competitions as well, if they survive that far, then it makes it all the more blatant.

The big joke though is that there is very little to play for at the top end this season.

Manchester City have already won the league and will probably have mathematically done so by the time April comes around.

Arsenal are already all but completely ruled out of finishing top four.

So that means the only real issue is which of four clubs (Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs) will join Man City in the Champions League placings.

If say Chelsea lose a couple of games in March then even that issue could well be sorted by the time we reach April.

Meanwhile, at the bottom end, you have one of the most exciting (for those not involved) relegation fights ever. At least 11 clubs up to and including Bournemouth, are still involved, with most of them almost certain to be still stuck in that fight by April.

Yet only one potential relegation six pointer is to be shown live, that West Ham v Stoke game.

Yes we understand that as a general rule TV companies and viewers want to watch the clubs at the top rather than the bottom BUT only when they are playing/fighting for something.

I think they have missed a real trick this time and there would be far more interest in whether say Newcastle, or West Ham, could be winning a vital relegation six pointer, than watching Tottenham to see whether they will be third or fourth.

Current Premier League table:

premier league live tv gamesSaturday 7 April

5.30pm: Man City vs Man United (Sky Sports)

Sunday 8 April

2.15pm: Everton vs Liverpool (Sky Sports)

4.30pm: Chelsea vs West Ham (Sky Sports)

Monday 9 April

8pm: Arsenal vs Southampton (Sky Sports)

Saturday 14 April

12.30pm: Southampton vs Chelsea (Sky Sports)

5.30pm: Liverpool vs Bournemouth (BT Sport)

7.45pm: Tottenham vs Man City (Sky Sports)

Sunday 15 April

1.30pm: Newcastle vs Arsenal (Sky Sports)

4pm: Man United vs West Brom (Sky Sports)

Monday 16 April

8pm: West Ham vs Stoke (Sky Sports)

Friday 20 April

8pm: Brighton vs Tottenham (Sky Sports)

Saturday 21 April

5.30pm: Bournemouth vs Man United (BT Sport)

Sunday 22 April

2.15pm: West Brom vs Liverpool (Sky Sports)

4.30pm: Man City vs Swansea (Sky Sports)

Monday 23 April

8pm: Arsenal vs West Ham (Sky Sports)

Saturday 28 April

12.30pm: Liverpool vs Stoke (Sky Sports)

5.30pm: Swansea vs Chelsea (BT Sport)

Sunday 29 April

2.15pm: West Ham vs Man City (Sky Sports)

4.30pm: Man United vs Arsenal (Sky Sports)

Monday 30 April

8pm: Tottenham vs Watford (Sky Sports)

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  • Wor Monga

    Unfortunately it’s sad to say, that payTV owns PL football these days, and I can’t see viewers around the world being bothered enough to turn on to watch teams like West Brom, Stoke, Huddersfield, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Swansea, Watford and Bournemouth playing each other…

    …when most of the time they can’t even raise that much interest in their own backyards!!!

    • Rich Lawson

      Exactly,vital as these games might be to the support of the clubs involved and those affected by the result,they don’t offer much of a promise of scintillating football.Sky and BT are a cancer and have no real interest in the game other than flogging add on’s to a sports package.

  • Lord

    There will be a manufactured ‘race for second’ to feign importance.

    By the way, the ‘current Premier League table’ shown in the article shows us on 29 points, played 28…

  • NUFC9

    A big and increasing chunk of the tv money comes from the overseas rights. Most people in China, India, etc have never heard of the teams outside the top 5 or 6. The games the PL selects are chosen to appeal to the overseas viewers as well as us. Games like us vs Huddersfield are massive 6 pointers but the foreign audiences couldn’t give a toss about them. They just want to watch Man U every week.

    • HarryHype59

      Alas true!

    • Kneebotherm8

      Every premier league game is shown live abroad,even all the saturday 3pm kickoffs,not just the ones that are handpicked for us in this country.

      • Paul C

        That is right. I live in Canada and can watch every game.Its a dream come true the only catch is you cant make it to St James’ most weekends and the 3pm kickoff is 7am here. Always up early with me bacon sarnies and a dozen cuppas! Howay the Lads!

        • Kneebotherm8

          A bit sharp for a couple of beers then Paul???…..🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻

      • NUFC9

        Not true. Maybe in some places but not everywhere. Where I am we get all the UK televised games plus a couple of Sat 3pm kick offs.

        Don’t forget the foreign broadcasters are also showing all kinds of Barca, Real, Bayern, Juventus, Milan, PSG, etc games from across Europe so most countries don’t show all 10 premier league games.

        Most places have never heard of NUFC or Huddersfield and would rather watch the top 4/5 PL teams plus the top 2 or 3 from Spain, Italy, etc. No interest whatsoever in 15th vs 17th from the PL.

        Anyway. We complain when we have to play Swansea away on a Monday night because of TV then we complain when Sky aren’t showing us. Can’t have it both ways.

      • Georgia Peter

        I’m in Thesaloniki in northern Greece and my current system gives me Sky sports .BT Sport .Bein sports and Toronto Sports Network which generally shows every game live.

  • Geordiegiants

    The harsh reality is, it’s not about anything but the top 4/5 outside of this country. The premier league are trying to build a global brand and forgetting about the local supporter.
    This is where I wouldn’t like to be a Citeh, I’m not for one minute suggesting I’m happy with our situation as it is, but I wouldn’t want to be what Citeh are. It brings a whole load of more bother than its worth for me, we are a local club with local supporters and I hope it stays like that. Yes we have our fans from around the world, but they aren’t just after success, they are after being a part of something special and exclusive. It’s a bit like bands, when they are small and cult like they are cool, when they become huge they become cheesy.

  • Phil Yare

    TV money is finally killing the game. whats the point in clubs getting more money if say for example jonny evans value goes from £2m to £30m in a season.

    chance for top players to earn a million quid a week and others having to pay a club transfer record for average. at the same time the fixture list is all over the place with saturday traditions a thing of the past.

    respect to half of the dortmund fans for boycotting a monday night game recently

  • Scoutingfromtherooftops

    You reap what you sow – frankly after the Man City games, can we expect to be on the telly playing negative football with ten men behind the ball? Sky need to keep their subscribers happy