The English Football League (EFL) is considering new plans to end the traditional 3pm TV blackout for Saturday games.
The blackout was introduced back in the 1960s and means that no Premier League, Football League or FA Cup matches can be broadcast on live UK television on Saturday between 2:45pm and 5:15pm.
One of the driving reasons behind the blackout is to maintain stadium attendances, as clubs lower down the English football pyramid are more reliant on ticket revenue to keep their clubs sustainable.
Reports are now claiming that the EFL wants to make every match in the Championship, League One and League Two available for broadcast in a new deal with streaming platforms from the 2024/25 season.
The EFL has a current deal with Sky Sports to broadcast 138 matches per season, but only two Championship games are broadcast every weekend.
During the 2020/2021 season, the EFL set up a streaming service called ‘iFollow’ that allowed fans to purchase a pass on a game-by-game basis to view games, as fans were unable to attend due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The service was welcomed by many fans, and now the Daily Mail claim the EFL are targeting £200 million-a-year by selling more matches to streaming services.
This £200 million could help clubs in the football pyramid financially, and is much more than the current £119 million the EFL get from Sky.
The Daily Mail claims that soon, an invitation is due to be sent to streaming giants that include Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple+, YouTube and Facebook, as well as Sky and BT Sport.
In the Premier League, only a handful of games are broadcast at 3pm. More important games featuring bigger clubs, or games where the importance is heightened are shown at different times.
Friday evening, Saturday early afternoon, Saturday evening and Sunday fixtures are mostly televised.
Speaking on talkSport, former Crystal Palace FC owner,, Simon Jordan said it is the way to go for the English game to become a “global sporting powerhouse”.
Major League Soccer in the USA, has made a success of selling the broadcasting rights to stream every game when it signed a 10 year long deal worth an estimated value of $2.5b with Apple.