The Premier League‘s return could see a 10-hour run of games broadcast live every Saturday and Sunday, with five fixtures shown back-to-back on both weekend days.
The 20 clubs are due to meet again on Thursday morning in what could see a restart date for the 2019/20 campaign determined, after a vote to introduce contact training was passed the previous day.
A return for the English top flight is clearly drawing closer, and the hope is that the 92 fixtures can begin to be played from mid-to-late June.
The desire to fulfil the calendar as quickly as possible, with a view to starting the new season with as little disruption as possible, will likely see every side playing twice a week.
And pressure from the government and broadcasters should see most, if not all, shown live on TV, with the prospect of some being made free-to-air either on YouTube or via the BBC.
According to the Mirror, part of the Premier League‘s plan could be to broadcast five games every Saturday and Sunday, with a “Champions League style double-header format” for the midweek fixtures.
The schedule would therefore be as follows, with multiple games played at the same time on Wednesdays and Thursdays:
Saturday KOs: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm
Sunday KOs: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm
Wednesday KOs: 6pm, 8pm
Thursday KOs: 6pm, 8pm
This therefore floats the possibility of a 10-hour Premier League marathon on Saturdays and Sundays, which would go a great length to satisfying the public demand for football after a break of over two months.
It could also deter many from congregating in tourist hotspots, as has been seen with thousands visiting beaches and parks following the relaxing of lockdown measures.
Of course, there is the prospect of Premier League ‘watch parties’ in the absence of pubs showing live football, but the government are expected to allow some visits to other households before the campaign resumes.
In many ways this would be the perfect eventuality given fans will not be able to attend games, and could suit the clubs who are facing a significant rebate to broadcasters.
According to the Guardian, Liverpool are leading a group of clubs who will argue against a £330 million repayment to the likes of Sky and BT at Thursday’s meeting.
“They believe fans not being able to attend games will increase the premium on live televised matches,” the report claims, “with interest in any game shown heightened by the paucity of other live sports.”