Negotiations are underway for the new TV contract and there have been suggestions in the media that the new deal will include Saturday night games. The Trust are not aware of how serious this proposal might be and have been contacted by other Premier League Trusts and the football Supporters Federation (FSF) to support fans’ opposition to Saturday night slots. The following is the statement issued by the FSF and agreed to by the Trust Board.
The FSF notes with concern media reports of a possible significant increase in the number of Premier League matches to be broadcast live under the next three-year broadcast deal from 2019.
We re-affirm our opposition to any increase in the number of games to be televised live, and while we reluctantly recognise the imposition by Ofcom of a minimum of 190 live broadcast games per season – half of all games, and itself an increase of 22 per season over the current arrangements – we remain firmly opposed to any increase beyond that number.
Any additional broadcast games would mean even more changes to kick-off times away from 3:00pm on Saturdays, with an impact of both uncertainty and inconvenience to the match-going fans, especially away fans, whose passion is a huge component of the “product” that broadcasters want to buy and sell.
It is our hope that any increase in the number of live TV games can be accommodated in existing broadcast slots, and reaffirm our call for the interests of match-going fans to be considered when selecting and scheduling games. Particularly in the event of a new Saturday evening TV slot being created, we urge clubs and broadcasters to give due consideration to issues of geography and travel, and to invest some of the huge broadcast revenues into supporting the attendance and contribution of match-going fans, especially away fans.