Premier League matches could be shown on free TV channels
Premier League matches could be shown on free TV channels in a bid to stop fans visiting friends to watch games. [Photo: Courtesy]

Football fans who love the English Premier League could watch matches on free to air TV once the season resumes following its suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This is after Britain’s culture secretary Oliver Dowden told BBC on Wednesday that the league could make games available on free-to-air broadcasting once the 2019/20 season returns.

Dowden said there have been discussions with British sports bodies on the resumption of competitions in 2020.

According to Reuters, he told the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee that when the Premier League resumed with matches most likely behind closed doors to contain the spread of the virus, it was important for people to watch them somehow.

“I have said to the Premier League it wouldn’t send the best signal if they were one of the first major sports to resume behind closed doors and the public at large couldn’t have access to it,” said Dowden.

He said sports were “reliant on the revenue they derive” from broadcasting deals, adding sport could have “elements of protecting revenue from broadcasting but also looking at ways of increasing access”.

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Dowden said the Premier League was considering it. Broadcasters Sky, BT and Amazon hold the rights for showing Premier League games live with only highlights available on the free-to-air BBC.

Premier League was on April 3, 2020, suspended indefinitely following a coronavirus crisis meeting.

The chiefs pledged to restart the season – but only when it is safe to do so.

The way forward was decided after the 20 Premier League clubs took part in a video conference.

They also discussed ways to respond to the Covid-19 global pandemic.

The administrators said that any return to play will only be with the full support of government and when medical experts give a go-ahead.

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