The Premier League is facing rebate demands from its Asian broadcast partners whose viewership windows are being impacted by the staggering of kick-off times in the UK to ensure all games can be televised without clashes whilst fans remain unable to attend.
Broadcasters in the biggest Asian markets are preparing to demand millions of pounds in compensation if the league continues to reschedule fixtures, according to the Daily Mail.
A deal was put in place with Sky, BT, Amazon and the BBC for all Premier League games to be televised throughout September whilst stadiums remained empty. It had been hoped that fans would start returning to live sports events in October, but the government scrapped that idea earlier this were due to a rising number of Covid-19 cases – so it is widely expected for staggered kick-off times to continue into October and for the foreseeable future.
The likes of PCCW’s Now TV in Hong Kong, Singtel in Singapore, India’s Star Sports, Thailand’s TrueVisions, and Astro in Malaysia reportedly pay a combined £330 million annually for Premier League rights, but the broadcasters are claiming an increase in later kick-off times this season is devaluing the live content because of the different time zones.
The usual 3pm Saturday kick-off slot falls in prime-time in Asia, and viewers are usually able to select to watch any match being played at that time. Currently only one Premier League per week is being played in that slot.
According to reports, Premier League clubs will hold an emergency meeting early next week before announcing the broadcast schedule for October.