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Premier League Temporarily Lifts TV Restrictions For 3 PM Saturday Kickoffs

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For the rest of the season—whenever that might take place—the league can cash in on broadcasting more matches.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-SWANSEA Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

For the past several weeks, there has been an open question as to whether the 2019/20 season could be completed. However, there has slowly been a consensus forming behind a plan to play out the remaining matches behind closed doors.

Today, The Times are reporting that English and Scottish FAs have requested that their 3 PM Saturday blackouts for broadcasting rights be lifted by UEFA for the rest of the season. This is yet another strong indication that the Premier League will attempt to finish the season. And moreover, they’d like to make up for the lost revenue as best as possible.

Normally matches that kickoff at 3 PM on Saturdays are not shown locally, ostensibly to promote attendance at local clubs that are further down the football pyramid. When football resumes, it will almost certainly be behind closed doors, and therefore it is not nearly as vital to have these slots blacked out.

This is a rare occasion where Premier League and FA greed is maybe a good thing? It would create more revenue and more chances for teams lower down in the division, and even some in lower tiers, to earn money from broadcasting rights. While a team like Liverpool will no doubt be suffering from this crisis, other clubs lower down the pyramid will be much worse off.

More importantly, it’s a good sign that this season will be completed. And being able to watch the matches on TV, while no substitute for going to the match, will certainly help people feel as if there is some degree of normalcy in this highly stressful and abnormal crisis we find ourselves in.