Plans in the Pipeline for BBC to Broadcast Some Premier League Matches Live for the First Time Ever
The BBC may be permitted to broadcast some of the remaining Premier League games live for the first time ever.
Plans are currently being drawn up for top-flight football to restart in England by next month, after the season was halted in March due to the coronavirus crisis.
The government gave the green light to 'Project Restart' on Thursday, while also imploring the Premier League to ensure that some fixtures would be free-to-air.
According to The Times, plans are in motion for all of the remaining 92 matches of the 2019/20 campaign to be televised as they are set to be played behind closed doors. Of these games, 47 have already been allocated for television broadcast.
32 of the remaining 45 matches would be awarded to Sky, the primary rights holder, eight to BT Sport and five to Amazon and the BBC. The latter currently only has rights to screen highlights and if these plans are approved it will be the first time that the Premier League is shown live by the publicly owned broadcaster.
?️ "Whenever the season does continue, whether it's next month, or two months, three months, I should be ready to go from the first game."
Some footballers have benefitted from the lockdown...
The proposals are set to be discussed during a video conference on Monday. BT Sport and Sky will understandably be keen to protect their interests as the main rights holders and they are likely to push for the BBC to only show extended highlights as opposed to live games.
The government will also be involved in talks and they are demanding that the Premier League considers public health concerns when planning football's return. Broadcasters are being urged to show any games that run a significant danger of fans congregating outside stadiums to avoid social distancing rules being flouted.
Even if these broadcasting issues are solved, Project Restart is still facing some significant roadblocks. Many players - including Troy Deeney, Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose - have expressed deep concerns about football returning while COVID-19 continues to pose a serious threat to public health.