All 28 Premier League games in September to be shown on live TV

All 28 Premier League games in September to be shown on live TV

The small-screen extravaganza that accompanied the Premier League restart is to continue, with all 28 fixtures scheduled for September to be shown on TV.

The move comes after supporters’ groups and the government urged broadcasters to show all top-flight fixtures while fans were unable to attend matches because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a resumption of the arrangement that applied during the 2019-20 season restart, all of this month’s matches will be shown live on Sky, BT Sport, Amazon and the BBC, although kick-off days and times will remain as scheduled.

The league had previously insisted it would return to showing only a selection of games during the 2020-21 season, albeit with an increased total of 220 up from 200 the year before.

With fans still unable to return, however, and government yet to give the all-clear to a partial return from 1 October, the league has temporarily changed its approach and says it will consider further “appropriate arrangements” should the ban on fans not be lifted.

Sky Sports and BT Sport had already selected 17 matches for live broadcast for the first three match rounds of the season. Of the remaining 11 matches, Sky Sports will broadcast an additional six, BT Sport a further three and BBC and Amazon Prime Video one each.

The change was made after a campaign led by the Football Supporters’ Association, #letuswatch, called on fans to lobby their MPs for games to be broadcast and raised the prospect of pirate streams being accessed in large numbers.

Last week the government appeared to throw its weight behind the campaign, with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport urging the Premier League and its broadcast partners to “follow the spirit of Project Restart … listen to clubs’ loyal fans and consider what can be achieved”.

The news will be welcomed by many supporters and especially those of Newcastle and Burnley, whose teams had not been selected for TV in September. But it will also raise questions over the cost fans must bear for following their clubs, with only one of the 28 games set to be shown on free-to-air TV.

The FSA’s chair, Malcolm Clarke, said: “It’s a step in the right direction but this policy must be extended through the season while games are being played in front of severely restricted crowds.”