Arsenal fans will be watching their team play Saturday night football in the future as the Premier League has announced its new packages for which it will be seeking bidders.
The next round of rights come up for auction in February, and will likely eclipse the then record £5bn + deal secured for the last round between Sky Sports and BT.
There will be an increase of 32 matches made available for live television, with 200 games as opposed to 168 in the last round.
Notable is the fact taht there will be eight matches kicking off at 19.45 on a Saturday evening, and the fact that the traditional Sunday game – which almost always started at 16.00 – will now be played at 16.30.
The details of the packages to be bid on are as follows (via BBC) – and they’ll be applied from start of the 2019/20 season (assuming we’re all still alive).
Package A: 32 matches on Saturdays at 12:30
Package B: 32 matches on Saturdays at 17:30
Package C: 24 matches on Sundays at 14:00 and eight matches on Saturdays at 19:45
Package D: 32 matches on Sundays at 16:30
Package E: 24 matches on Mondays at 20:00 or Fridays at 19:30/20:00 and eight matches on Sundays at 14:00
Package F: 20 matches from one Bank Holiday and one midweek fixture programme
Package G: 20 matches from two midweek fixture programmes
While Sky and BT are expected to remain in pole position to retain the rights, it’s expected that there will be competition from less traditional sources with industry insiders expecting possible bids from Facebook, Amazon and other online platforms.
It’s an ongoing question as to whether this competition makes life better for consumers, and in reality it generally means more expense as different subscriptions are required.
With viewing figures and attention spans falling, it might well be the Premier League is reaching some kind of ceiling when it comes to how much people are willing to spend on it, so they’ll be keen to set more records with this new deal.
The fact that so many people are willing to sit through sixty thousand and three pop-ups just so they can have a stream that isn’t half-covered with ads and fake ‘X – close this ad’ buttons really should tell them something.