Saturday, 20 June 2020

First time in half a century - history about to be made


The UK is about to experience a once in a 50-year phenomenon this afternoon at 3PM GMT when national football kicking off at 15:00 will be live broadcast for the first time since the 60s.

The move, a combination of UK law and Uefa ruling, came into effect to allow the completion of the football seasons Britain, England in particular, and sees viewers given a choice of multiple matches both domestic and abroad starting with KOs at 14:30 all the way through till 16:00.

Of course, with the month of June itself almost over, naturally the organic domestic season would have been completely finished anyway and pre-season friendlies and training would normally be the order of the day (albeit this summer it would have been Euro 2020), so that makes a little difference.

But breaking it down to its basic form, it’s the first time since the 60s that league football has been shown on TV on a Saturday, with obviously the exceptional circumstances dictating why.

The rule was originally formed in the 60s when it was deemed that live football on a Saturday actually hurt attendances of all matches, and not just the one being shown – so the Blackout was introduced to protect clubs.

These days it’s hogwash, and TV and stream broadcasts make no difference to attendances – fans will go whether it’s on TV or not.

But regardless of that, we see an unprecedented act today for the first time in a few generations, as West Brom and Arsenal, among others, play their football at 15:00 and the UK gets to watch it on their tellybox.

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