Fans in the UK are the only country in Europe and one of only five in the world to not be able to legally watch Manchester United and Manchester City’s Saturday 3pm kick-offs live.
Saturday put up some intriguing games with United taking on Europa League outfit Brighton & Hove Albion, while Manchester City travelled to Conference League winners West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur entertained newly promoted Sheffield United.
But for fans in England, there was no way to legally watch the games live, instead leaving fans relying on illegal streams which the Premier League have previously announced measures to crack down on.
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The reason for them not being broadcast is due to the 3pm blackout rule in English football. Introduced in the 1950s, the blackout means that no games are able to be broadcast between 2:45pm and 5:15pm in order to protect attendances at stadiums and participation in grassroots.
And while the blackout is still supported at lower levels, according to a report by The Athletic, the UK joined Cuba, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and North Korea in being the only countries around the world not to show the Saturday 3pms that showed three of the so called ‘Big Six’ in action.
Do you think the 3pm blackout rule should be abolished? Let us know in the comments section.
There have been talks to abolish the 3pm blackout in the past, including from the EFL who deliberated the possibility of broadcasting every game in their next round of broadcast rights. However, the EFL eventually decided to extend their existing rights with Sky Sports who retained the 3pm broadcast blackout.
Fans missed out on a plethora of action across all three games as well as Fulham beating Luton Town 1-0 and a controversial Aston Villa 3-1 win at home against Crystal Palace. United suffered a fourth Premier League defeat in a row against Brighton where they were beaten 3-1 at Old Trafford.
Champions City had to come from a goal behind in the first half to beat West Ham 3-1 before a miraculous Spurs turnaround saw them beat the Blades 2-1 despite trailing 1-0 in the 97th minute.
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