Yesterday it was confirmed that UEFA have lifted the 3PM Saturday ban on UK football broadcasting, and we will go into this in a little more detail later, but the most pertinent part od this development is it was revealed both Scottish and English FAs applied for it.
This has massive ramifications which cannot be understated.
First off, to clear up what the 3PM ban is all about, in the 70s, it was decided by UK lawmakers that matches played at 3PM Saturday should be banned from TV broadcast to protect clubs from non-attendance in favour of watching on TV.
Somehow, and we must admit this one slipped us by, that law ended up in the hands of UEFA, and it’s under their jurisdiction now that matches at 3PM on Saturday must not be on live TV in the UK.
The most telling part here is it’s not they who lifted the ban, strictly speaking, it’s the FA and the SFA who did, which means they’re intending, if at all possible, to play out this season behind closed doors and get the campaigns wrapped up legitimately while protecting all clubs.
How? Because the 3PM ban is lifted, meaning all matches can now be televised whenever they’re played, at whatever time, and while the stadiums would be empty, fans at home, which, let’s face it, is now all of us, would now be able to watch – this helps advertising revenue, it encourages many thousands more viewers than normal, and would help promote brands at the stadiums.
It also helps TV deals, knowing they’ll have something to show and thousands or even millions will tune in.
This definitely implies a strong intention on behalf of British football that this season could still be finished, both north and south of the border, even if it’s months from now, and while times are incredibly hard right now, if the right safety precautions are taken and everything is done right, as we’re sure it would be, it’s not impossible to play football in the not-too-distant future without a crowd.
It’s certainly what the FAs are hoping can be achieved, and they’ve opened up that possibility now.