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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Sky Sports and BT Sport in discussions to stream Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham matches for free

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The Premier League are in discussions over plans to air select matches for free on Sky Sports and BT Sport’s YouTube channels.

All of the remaining 92 games of the 2019/20 season will be shown on TV, wit most of the matches expected to be on Sky and BT Sport platforms.

The Times report that a few would be shown by Amazon, according to the plan. The BBC would potentially be permitted to show highlights more often but it is unlikely any games would be live on terrestrial TV.

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The only time a Premier League match has been shown free to air since the competition started in 1992 was on the opening day of the 2013-14 season when Sky showed Manchester United v Swansea City and BT screened Crystal Palace v Arsenal for free.

The government has raised the idea of matches being available on free-to-air platforms but will not push for them to be on terrestrial TV and it is understood to be happy that the majority will be on pay-TV.

The report also states that senior figures in the broadcasting industry claim that moves to scrap relegation from those in danger of the drop could risk making the TV contracts invalid.

With Liverpool 25 points clear at the top of the league and needing just two wins to be confirmed as champions, a no-relegation season may mean that many games become superfluous.

11 million people tuned into last season’s Champions League final, which was shown for free on BT Sport’s YouTube channel.

Similarly, the platform already has preexisting agreements with both Sky Sports and BT Sport, which could help facilitate a deal.

Of the 92 top-flight matches left, 47 were already planned to be shown live and most of those on Sky, which holds the majority of the rights.

The other 45 would be split between Sky, BT and Amazon Prime, who remains a live rights holder even though they had no matches left to stream this season.

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