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BBC could show live top flight...
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BBC could show live top flight English football for first time since the 80s

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20:28 15 May 2020

Premier League matches could be broadcast live on the BBC for the very first time, if football resumes next month. 

The UK government are keen to see as many of the 92 remaining Premier League games broadcast on free-to-air television.

Premier League television rights in Britain are held jointly by Sky Sports and BT Sport, while the BBC show edited highlights on their Match of the Day programmes.

The Times report that 47 of the remaining 92 matches were already scheduled to be shown live on either Sky or BT.

As the remaining 45 don't fall under regular broadcasting agreements the UK government want those broadcasters to make them available.

BT and Sky could opt to make their channels available for free for these league games, or stream them on YouTube.

Sky have access to 32 of the remaining games, and BT 8 leaving the five others in the balance.

Amazon Prime were the third broadcaster to enter the Premier League market this season, showing two rounds of matches live in December in the UK.

In Ireland, these games were screened on Premier Sports.

The BBC haven't shown a live top flight game since the 1987-88 First Division season when they shared the broadcast rights with ITV.

Further talks on 'Project Restart' are due to take place from Monday.

Some Premier League captains expressed reservations about a June return when they were briefed on Wednesday by the UK's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan van Tam.

Players are believed to be especially concerned about close contact in training.

However, the Independent report that a 'Player Proximity white paper' has been drawn up by STATSports - the company behind Premier League GPS trackers.

It says that the average close contact in training lasts just over three seconds, which is far lower than the threshold to contract coronavirus.

Those numbers are made even more appealing given that all activity takes place outdoors.

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