The Premier League has finally agreed to get the 19/20 season underway again and gently massaged to a climax, as top-tier football is set to return on June 17. If you count Aston Villa and Sheffield United as top-tier. A-ha. A little football joke for you there. Please don’t knife me.
Manchester City will also play Arsenal on tentative reboot day – government approval is still required and not yet a certainty – with a full, as-normal fixture list where everyone plays everyone else scheduled for the weekend of 19-21 June. Then, it’ll be sports grind as usual until the entire backlog of 92 remaining fixtures has been completed and, from what I remember, a trophy is handed to the winning captain, and the team takes a bus ride around the local city, even though none of the players were born within 200 miles of it.
The deal to spread about the coverage has indeed been signed to make up for the games being played behind closed doors, with four live games heading to BBC Sport – and the remainder divided up between usual subscription outlets Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime. The BBC has also brokered the rights to enhance its usual Match of the Day coverage, so there’ll be more free-to-air highlights of the 88 games it won’t be showing live.
Sky Sports retains the bulk of exclusive rights to screen 64 live matches, but has agreed to make 25 of them available via an unlocked, free-to-air method. Hopefully that’ll stop the football men kicking off too much. [BBC]