It seems the new Premiership TV rights are set to all but kill off the traditional 3pm kick off time for the most attractive teams in the league.
The old Saturday at 3pm has been slowly dieing ever since the formation of the Premiership back in 1992 and the input of Sky to televise games at other times. Even Uefa have helped the situation by playing Uefa Cup games on Thursday’s meaning teams in that competition now play on Sunday instead.
Just like many other traditions within the game the 3pm kick off slot is close to seeing it’s grave. From 58 games (in all competitions) this season, Liverpool will have had just 14 games kick off at 3pm – one of them being the FA Cup final, another being the traditional final game of the season this Sunday.
But new TV rights deals which have seen Irish pay per view channel Setanta Sports claim rights for 46 Premiership matches from 2007. That is on top of the seperate package which sees Sky remain with 92 live games.
Setanta’s matches will be shown at 20:00 on Monday, Saturday at 17:15 and Sunday at 13:30.
Up for grabs in the bidding where six packages, four of which were won by BSkyB, the other two by Setanta.
Here is how BSkyB will allocate their matches and packages:
23 matches shown at 16:00 on Sunday
23 matches shown at 13:30 on Sunday
23 matches shown at 12:45 on Saturday
7 to 13 matches on midweek evenings/bank holidays, 10 to 16 at 12:45 on Saturday and 16:00 on Sunday
Whether that means Setanta and Sky matches on a Sunday will clash with each other, we do not know.
One thing for sure is that Premiership clubs are earning more money from this new deal than the one agreed three years ago.
Another thing is it seems the consumer – who deals like this are meant to aid – will lose out as they will now have to pay for two seperate subscriptions.