Sports

Saturday nights featured in new Premier League TV schedule

Premier League fans will for the first time able to watch full rounds of fixtures on TV in the UK, new tender documents for the broadcast rights have revealed.

The division is offering domestic bidders for the 2019-20 to 2021-22 seasons the chance to show three midweek rounds of fixtures and a set of bank holiday matches in their entirety.

Prime-time Saturday night kick-offs at 19.45 will also be included as part of the schedule for the first time as the Premier League looks to secure its status as the world's richest football league by keeping TV income rising.

Read more:Premier League clubs fail to secure support for larger share of TV money

A total of 200 live matches per season are up for grabs — more than 50 per cent of the entire season and 42 more than the current deal which sold for just over £5bn.

Those 200 fixtures are split into seven different broadcast packages, five of which secure the rights for 32 games per season and a further two of 20 games.

No single bidder can buy more than 148 matches per season.

In 2015 Sky paid £4.2bn for the rights to 126 matches while BT bought 42 for £960m.

The Premier League said its new packages create "an attractive offering for broadcasters and fans, while allowing the continued protection of the Saturday 15:00 'closed period' – the purpose of which is to encourage attendances and participation at all levels of the sport at the traditional time at which English football takes place across the country."

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