Premier League moves closer to return with broadcast discussions

PA

The Premier League are in discussions with UK rights holders about how best to broadcast the season’s remaining fixtures as the campaign edges closer to a return behind closed doors, the PA news agency understands.

It is six weeks since the English top-flight was suspended in a bid to curb the coronavirus outbreak and talks continue as to when, and if, play can resume.

A return to action in June is being considered and it is understood the Premier League is in discussions over how best to broadcast matches with fans set to be kept out due to social distancing concerns.

A Government spokesman said: “Ministers continue to work with sports governing bodies on how live sporting events can resume in the future. This can only happen once we have passed the five tests for easing social distancing measures.”

Of the 92 games remaining this season, 47 are already set to be aired between Sky Sports and BT under existing contracts.

As for the remaining 45 fixtures, PA understands the Premier League is in discussions with those broadcasters along with fellow UK package holders BBC and Amazon about a reasonable and proportional position on how those matches might be broadcast.

Any decisions would require consent and support from stakeholders, while it is unclear whether matches would be shown on a free-to-air basis.