Premier League make TV fixture declaration as games continue behind closed doors

The Premier League has confirmed all fixtures will continue to be made available on television until fans are permitted to return to stadiums.

A limited number of fans were able to attend some top-flight games in the first half of the season, but no ground has hosted supporters since the country entered a national lockdown at the start of the year.

Matches appear likely to be played behind closed doors for the foreseeable future, prompting the Premier League to extend its decision to make all of them available for viewing in the UK.

The fixtures will be shared across Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and the BBC.

The Premier League will continue to make all fixtures available for television viewing

“The Premier League today confirmed all fixtures for the 2020/21 season will continue to be made available to fans to watch live in the UK,” reads a statement released by the Premier League on Wednesday.

“This arrangement will be extended until Government guidance permits supporters to return to stadiums.

“All matches will be shown via existing broadcast partners Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and BBC, who continue to work with us to deliver these additional matches while stadiums are missing the supporters who are such an integral part of the game.

A handful of matches were played in front of fans in the first half of the season - but none in 2021
A handful of matches were played in front of fans in the first half of the season – but none in 2021

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“Details of broadcast selections for March and the rearrangement of previously postponed matches will be announced in due course.

“The Premier League and its clubs remain committed to an accessible solution for fans. The UK live broadcast arrangements will be reviewed in consultation with clubs and in line with any decisions made by Government regarding the return of spectators to stadiums.”

The government has not placed a timescale on fans returning to stadiums, but Brighton chief executive Paul Barber hopes this could occur before the end of this season.

Seagulls chief Barber hopes we could see fans back at stadiums before the season's end
Seagulls chief Barber hopes we could see fans back at stadiums before the season’s end

Will we see fans return to Premier League stadiums before the end of the season? Have your say in the comments.

“We are hopeful that we might see a small number of fans back by the end of the season,” Barber told the Financial Times’ Business of Football event on Wednesday. “But realistically we are preparing for the worst and them not coming back.

“There are a number of issues. There is going to be the issue of confidence, even when people have received the vaccine, not everybody will take the option of having it, and in terms of fans coming back in large numbers and getting to and from the stadium.

“There is the financial issue, too. A lot of people have lost their jobs so that is going to have some impact on season ticket and matchday sales.

“And then were are set to face some form of government restrictions, whether that is in terms of limited capacity or social distancing.

“But there is a huge demand for people to get out of their homes and see live events, and in particular live sport. The opportunity for them to come back and watch a game in a stadium is significant.

“For us, it can’t come soon enough but it has to be done when it is safe to do so.”

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