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Premier League games could be shown live on Saturday evenings at 7:45pm as part of new TV deal

The new proposal was put to the chairman at their recent summer meeting and the number of live matches shown could increase to over 200 per season

Premier League clubs are looking into the prospect of playing games on Saturday nights.

There could be an additional 30 live matches per season up for grabs in the next TV deal, and one of the radical new ideas is to try and tap into a peak time audience with 7:45pm kick-offs.

Premier League games could be shown on Saturday evenings at 7:45pm

EPA
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Premier League games could be shown on Saturday evenings at 7:45pm

The Times report that the idea was put to Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore at the recent summer meeting as an option to increase the amount of live games on offer from 168 to possibly over 200 per season.

Any decision will be taken later in the year, with broadcasters keen for the clubs to look positively at the idea.

Over 200 games could be shown per season in next TV rights deal

AP:Associated Press
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Over 200 games could be shown per season in next TV rights deal

A huge stumbling block will be fans who are likely to oppose the idea as it would make it more difficult for away supporters to attend, and less traditional Saturday 3pm starts.

From 2019-20, the Premier League is committed to having at least half its 380 games shown live.

Broadcasters can bid for rights, including extra fixtures around Christmas or New Year with an outcome expected in February.

The existing TV deals with Sky and BT Sport are worth £5.14billion for the domestic rights over three years and the total income with overseas rights included is £8.5bn.

Sky and BT Sport paid £5.14 billion for the domestic rights over three years.

Reuters
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Sky and BT Sport paid £5.14 billion for the domestic rights over three years.

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Rex Features
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Antonio Conte celebrates winning Premier League in his first season in England

A league spokesman said: “The Premier League is more popular than ever due to the fantastic football put on by clubs and the commitment of fans.

“In season 2016-17 stadiums were a record 96.5 per cent full, unique broadcasting reach in the UK was up 2 per cent on the previous season and matches were available to watch in one billion homes in 188 countries.”

The Football League is also inviting bids for its rights but has no plans for a Saturday night slot as clubs fear it might reduce attendances, something that is less of an issue in the Premier League where stadiums are close to capacity.