With the big kick off just days away, the English Premier League has handed domestic football fans a huge bonus by announcing that all games in the league scheduled for September will be broadcast live.
In announcing its decision the EPL said that it was is working on a step-by-step approach to the beginning of the 2020/21 season, while monitoring the developments regarding what it said was its number one priority of getting fans back into full stadiums as soon as possible, with safety always being our priority.
After the March 2020 lockdown was announced, the EPL returned on 17 June with two fixtures were followed by a full match round beginning on Friday 19 June. All 92 of the held-over games were being shown live on television in the UK. Sky Sports showed 64 games; BT Sport, 20; the BBC offered four games free-to-air; and after a successful debut in December, Amazon Prime took another four.
With the live fixtures the TV firms, especially Sky and the BBC, struck ratings gold. As the team quickly completed its run to the Premier League title, Liverpool FC broke records on screen with its return to action against local rivals Everton drawing the highest audience in Premier League history drawing an audience on Sky of 5.5 million viewers at peak.
As the EPL mulled the new season, clubs agreed that all 28 matches scheduled to be played in September would be broadcast live in the UK, via once again Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and BBC.
Sky Sports and BT Sport have already selected 17 matches for live broadcast for the first three match rounds of the 2020/21 season. Of the remaining 11 matches, Sky Sports will broadcast an additional six, BT Sport a further three and BBC and Amazon Prime Video one each. In consultation with all relevant stakeholders, the Premier League is considering appropriate arrangements for matches which will take place after 1 October.