Premier League considers Saturday night games in offer to broadcasters

Joe Hall
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Aston Villa v Chelsea - Premier League
Saturday night games could be added to the schedule (Source: Getty)

Premier League fixtures could be played at 7.45pm on Saturday nights in a bid to fit even more live games on TV.

At a meeting of Premier League chairmen last week, the idea was floated as a potential offering to broadcasters — who are reportedly keen on the idea — when negotiating the next sale of TV rights for the 2019-2022 period.

In a bid to keep its unrivalled domestic TV income growing, the league will look to offer a significant increase on the 168 live games per season currently shown on BT Sport and Sky Sports.

Last week, it was reported that 11.30am Sunday kick-offs could even be included in order to appeal to the Asian market.

Read more: The FA admits fixture scheduling needs major rethink

Sky Sports and BT Sport paid a combined £5.1bn for the current set of rights, but the former suffered a 14 per cent decline in TV viewing figures for Premier League games last season.

In response, the Premier League could offer up to 200 live games a season in order to encourage another bumper payday from the broadcasters that ensures its clubs maintain their status as Europe's most financially powerful.

While the Premier League enjoys £1.7bn in domestic TV income each season, Spain's La Liga makes £750m, Germany's Bundesliga £900m and Italy's Serie A £900m.

Such is the division's unrivalled wealth, Deloitte estimates that all of its 20 clubs will be counted amongst the world's 30 richest next season.

Changing kick-off times would risk alienating match-going fans who would see even fewer games scheduled at the traditional 3pm Saturday afternoon time slot.

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