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Will Premier League 3pm games be on UK TV because of coronavirus?

10:41 PM GMT+4 12/03/2020
Jurgen Klopp TV
You might not be allowed to watch the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool live in the ground, but what about on the box?

The coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak has sent shockwaves across the world with all walks of life being disrupted as national governments attempt to control the spread of the deadly virus.

Football matches everywhere have been postponed or cancelled and, increasingly, various organisational bodies are opting to have games played behind closed doors, which means fans are not allowed in stadiums.

Doubts have been cast over the future of events such as Euro 2020 and other competitions - including Serie A, the Champions League, MLS and La Liga - have postponed schedules.

The Premier League is not uniquely immune to the effect of the outbreak and the chances are that more games will be played in empty stadiums as part of containment measures.

That prospect has given rise to questions regarding the traditional 3pm TV and streaming blackout which is observed in the United Kingdom.

So, with supporters facing the likelihood of missing live games, will the Football Association lift the broadcast blackout? Goal takes a look at what we know.

Will Premier League 3pm games be on UK TV because of coronavirus?

The FA is likely to make an exception to the '3pm Blackout' rule thanks to the extraordinary circumstances created by the coronavirus outbreak.

That would mean games kicking off at 3pm GMT (10am ET), within the window of the blackout period, could potentially be shown live on TV.

However, no official announcement has been made to that effect by the FA as yet.

According to the Times, football authorities in England are very much open to the idea of lifting the broadcast blackout in the event that greater numbers of matches must be played behind closed doors.

However, there are some concerns that putting games on television could have the effect of encouraging people to congregate in spaces such as pubs and bars to watch them.

The concerns relate to the fact that congregations of many people in confined spaces such as bars could have a worsening effect in terms of the spread of the virus.

Interestingly, though, high profile matches that have been played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus have still attracted large numbers of fans, despite warnings.

In such cases, fans have gathered outside of the stadium, setting off fireworks and creating noise in an effort to show their support.

What is the '3pm Blackout' in UK football & when did it start?

The '3pm Blackout' refers to a broadcasting ban on football matches which take place between 2:45pm and 5:15pm UK time on Saturdays.

Since many Premier League and English Football League matches kick off at 3pm on Saturdays, these games are affected by the blackout.

The '3pm Blackout' has been in effect for over 40 years, but there have been calls for the FA to end the regulation.

Read more about the 3pm Blackout in UK TV here.