In what will delight bit the broadcasters and fans alike, the English Premier League has decided that conditions are right to lift lockdown restrictions that have seen no games in the world’s most popular football league since March 2020.
The big kick-off will take place on 17 June with Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal, games postponed due to the Carabao Cup final in March and which will mean that all teams will have played 29 games. These two fixtures will be followed by a full match round beginning on Friday 19 June.
As with the Bundesliga which has just returned to action, the remaining games in the EPL schedule will take place behind closed doors. However all 92 remaining games will be shown live on television in the UK. The breakdown is as follows: Sky Sports, 64; BT Sport, 20; BBC, 4; Amazon Prime, 4. Sky Sports had paid £3.579 billion for 128 matches a season from 2019-22, had 34 live games left in this campaign, and will host 25 more on the free-to-air Pick channel, simulcast on the Sky Sports pay platform. The BBC, which showed Premier League highlights package via the legendary Match of the Day programme, will show an addition four games.
BT Sport, which had paid £975 million for 52 live games, had eight left in the roster. In what it calls a gesture of goodwill, the company said that it will offer customers that as a gesture of goodwill we will also be offering customers a further bill credit to the value of 50% of their BT Sport monthly subscription. Amazon made its Premier League debut over the festive period, showing two rounds of matches in mid-December and on Boxing Day, and get another four games.
Commenting on the return, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: "Today we have provisionally agreed to resume the Premier League on Wednesday 17 June. But this date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority. Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums, so we are pleased to have come up with a positive solution for supporters to be able to watch all the remaining 92 matches.”