The Premier League has given a major update on the 3pm blackout after fan outrage that Manchester United and Arsenal games weren’t on TV in England.
The blackout, which has been in place since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, prevents any live matches from being broadcast in the UK between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday.
The blackout was introduced to protect attendances at lower league matches, but it has been criticised in recent years as fans have been unable to watch their teams in action.
The issue was brought to the fore last weekend when Manchester United and Arsenal’s games were not shown on TV in England, despite being available in other countries.
The Premier League has now responded to the outcry, with chief executive Richard Masters saying that the blackout will be reviewed.
Masters said: “We understand the frustration of fans who were unable to watch the Manchester United and Arsenal matches last weekend.
“We are currently reviewing the 3pm blackout and will be consulting with our broadcast partners, clubs and other stakeholders in the coming weeks.
“We are committed to finding a solution that works for all parties and ensures that fans in the UK can watch the matches they want to see.”
The review of the blackout is likely to be welcomed by fans, who have long argued that the rule is outdated and should be scrapped.
The blackout has been relaxed in recent years, with some matches being shown on TV if they are part of a double-header or if they are being played abroad.
However, the fact that the Manchester United and Arsenal games were not shown last weekend has highlighted the need for a more comprehensive review of the blackout.
The Premier League is now set to consult with its broadcast partners, clubs and other stakeholders to find a solution that works for all parties.
It is unclear what the outcome of the review will be, but it is likely that the blackout will be relaxed in some way.
The Premier League is also likely to consider other options, such as allowing fans to watch games on a pay-per-view basis or allowing clubs to show their own games on their own streaming services.
Whatever the outcome of the review, it is clear that the Premier League is taking the issue of the 3pm blackout seriously and is committed to finding a solution that works for all parties.