BT Sport and Sky Sports emergency Premier League plans includes Saturday 3PM games

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Television companies are discussing showing all Saturday 3pm fixtures as part of an emergency coronavirus plan.

They could put games “behind the red button” for existing subscribers if they are forced into weeks of playing fixtures behind-closed-doors.

Sky Sports and BT Sport could do it to help prevent supporters turning up en masse at stadiums to try and watch their games even if they are locked out.

That is the nightmare scenario for clubs and police and emergency services because fans will be desperate to watch the games – and showing them live on TV would ease the problem.

Emergency services are already stretched by the virus and there is also reluctance from players to play behind-closed-doors because of the risk of infection to both themselves and their families and the extra strain on police, ambulance staff and paramedics.

But this could be a solution, even though there was reluctance from the Premier League.

Sky and BT Sport are both open to showing 3PM games when the season returns

Discussions are still at an exploratory stage and it remains to be seen whether it could work and get approval.

The Premier League is under huge financial pressure to finish the season because of the demands of the TV contracts and not finishing the campaign could see it cost them more than £700m in TV cash.

There is a long standing 3pm blackout rule which is designed to protect attendances but these exceptional circumstances could see a relaxation.

The court heard how the Premier League was amongst the victims
TV cameras at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park

Sky and BT Sport have been inundated with viewers asking to put their subscriptions on hold.

It remains to be seen whether the plan could work but it may be discussed further at the next Premier League meeting next Thursday.

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Coronavirus in sport

Meanwhile, FIFA are set to extend playing contracts beyond the season end with many players’ current deals up for renewal on June 30 when they would become free agents – even before the end of the season.

However, extensive talks between FIFA, the PFA, FIFPro, clubs and the FA are likely to see a resolution after a working party was set up to resolve the issue and players’ union bosses are confident it will be sorted.



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