If the rumblings are to be believed, the 3pm blackout rule which prevents broadcasters from showing live football on TV could be scrapped in a huge move by the English Football League (EFL).
As per an exclusive report by Sportsmail, the EFL may be bringing an end to the footballing rule which has barred television from airing Saturday 3pm kick-offs for more than 60 years.
EFL shopping around for TV rights
The EFL is said to be awaiting fresh television rights bids from streaming services like Facebook, Netflix, Google, Apple and Amazon, as well as the current domestic rights holders Sky Sports and BT Sport, to air games in this slot.
According to the outlet, the tender document is understood to be a request for proposals rather than a fixed offering for games in the 2024/25 season.
As well as looking to innovate and mix up the broadcast market, the belief is that by selling more matches – especially ones that fans have been asking to be televised for decades – they can get a better deal than the current contracts.
The EFL have since issued a statement confirming that the “rights for all 1,891 matches across the League, EFL Cup, EFL Trophy and all end of season Play-Off matches are available for prospective bidders.”
Best estimates have it that they currently hold a £119million-a-year deal with Sky but are targeting a figure north of £200m. BT reportedly pays more despite showing fewer games.
At present, it is thought that there is no set number of fixtures or contract length and the footballing body, which includes the Premier League, is clearly willing to start airing the 3pm games.
His rationale was that airing these games in addition to all the others throughout the week would detriment matchday attendances at football stadiums around the country.
The decision was so far-reaching, in fact, that Article 48 of UEFA’s statutes allowed member nations to select a two-and-a-half-hour weekend slot where live football is banned from screens, though the rule didn’t have any actual impact in the UK until 1987 when ITV struck the first deal for football TV rights.
However, as has been proved throughout the modern football era in which the sport has been televised, the unparalleled experience of going to the footy has never really been threatened and fans still come in their droves, with very few seats left empty week in, week out.
There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere and active experience of going and watching the game in person, but not everyone can make it to the ground, let alone fork out even more money for away days.
Moreover, the success of the televised 3pm games during Covid should be reason enough, not to mention it would cut down on illegal streaming.
For many, watching at home on the telly is their only option and it’s about time the 3pms were part of it. Make it happen, people.
Antony‘s case is still ongoing, with a total of three women coming out to accuse him of domestic abuse — chiefly, his ex-girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin, who was first to raise concerns surrounding his alleged behaviour — but his cooperation through the investigation has led them to revise their position.
Issuing an update on Friday morning confirming that the forward with be brought back into the fold until the situation is resolved.
A club statement reads as follows: “Since allegations were first made in June, Antony has co-operated with police inquiries in both Brazil and the UK, and he continues to do so.
“As Antony’s employer, Manchester United has decided that he will resume training at Carrington, and be available for selection, while police inquiries proceed. This will be kept under review pending further developments in the case.
“As a club, we condemn acts of violence and abuse. We recognise the importance of safeguarding all those involved in this situation, and acknowledge the impact these allegations have on survivors of abuse.”
Erik ten Hag‘s side plays their second game against Crystal Palace in less than a week after beating them 3-0 in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday and while it is not thought Antony will be brought straight back into the team, he will be available for selection moving forward.
United currently sit ninth in the Premier League with three wins and three losses to their name.
Man United to play Newcastle in Carabao Cup fourth round after Magpies knock out Man City
Last season’s Carabao Cup winners, Man United, now know their opponents for the next round after Newcastle United beat Man City 1-0 on Wednesday night, meaning both 2022/23 finalists will once again be meeting each other.
Either way, Alexander Isak’s single goal in the game at St James’ Park was enough to see the Magpies make it past the treble-winners despite a dominant first-half display from the away side.
Here’s the game-winning moment:
After receiving a yellow card during the game, the night ended with Guardiola fuming at referee Chris Kavanagh and exchanging more than a few words after the full-time whistle.
Clearing the moment up with reporters after the game, Pep said: “I don’t know how many fouls they did, how many fouls we had and the number of yellow cards, but it is what it is — sometimes the emotions are there. Respect for the referees and their job, a well-deserved yellow card.”
Nevertheless, the result has led to a repeat of last year’s culminating cup tie which, despite coming much earlier in the competition this time around, will see United facing off against a high-flying Newcastle team who just put eight goals past Sheffield United on this past Sunday.
The Magpies’ manager, Eddie Howe, has already said he and his side are aiming to “go one better” than they did last year and with the form they’re displaying at the moment — especially with United’s stuttering start — they stand a pretty good chance.
Elsewhere amongst the Premier League sides remaining in the competition, West Ham will host Arsenal, Bournemouth will play Liverpool at home and Sean Dyche’s Everton will play his old club Burnley.
Further down the footballing pyramid, Fulham visit Championship side Ipswich, Chelsea will host Blackburn and at least two other EFL sides will make it to the quarter-finals, with Mansfield at home to Port Vale and Exeter playing Middlesbrough.
All fourth-round ties are set to take place in the week commencing 30 October.
You can watch the highlights of Newcastle United vs Manchester City down below.