Eleven Sports flouts Sat 3pm football blackout

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Eleven Sports, the online streaming service, has this season been offering La Liga games at 3.15pm on Saturdays to UK viewers, despite Uefa’s article 48 banning the broadcast of live football between 2.45pm and 5.15pm.

The rule, which has been in place since the 1960s, is now only enforced in England, Scotland, and Montenegro as their associations believe it encourages fans to actually attend matches.

Uefa is reportedly trying to resolve the issue without the FA making a formal complaint. A spokesperson for the FA said: “We are aware of the matter and are looking into it through the appropriate channels.”

The English Football League has so far declined to comment, but a Premier League spokesperson told The Guardian: “Along with other English football stakeholders, the Premier League continues to support the closed period to encourage attendances and participation through the football pyramid.”

On its Facebook page, Eleven Sports posted: “We disagree with the ban and will continue to challenge it with the best interest of our customers at heart.”

“We support Eleven Sports in pushing the envelope in making matches available on Saturday afternoons,” said Joris Evers, La Liga’s chief communications officer, speaking to Bloomberg.  “People are watching football either through piracy or on betting websites anyway. Upholding the ban does not make much sense.”


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