Premier League clubs will discuss giving unprecedented access to television companies for as long as fans remain barred from stadiums, including the right to broadcast live audio from technical areas and screen footage from dressing rooms and the tunnel for the first time.
In a document circulated to the clubs ahead of Monday morning’s shareholders’ meeting the Premier League make it clear that the demands from Sky Sports and BT Sport should be seriously considered, as part of attempts to limit the rebate they will have to pay to rights holders even if the season resumes later this summer.
Sky and BT Sport will be entitled to a refund totalling £762million if the 2019/20 campaign does not resume, and even if it is completed the clubs will have to compensate the broadcasters for providing them with an inferior product and losing at least three months of live sport during the shutdown.
Premier League clubs will discuss granting unprecedented access should the season resume
Project Restart could see broadcasters granted access to the dressing rooms and the tunnel
Games played in empty stadiums with cluttered kick-off times in a congested period are less valuable to broadcasters, and even a partial rebate could total over £300m.
As a result Sky and BT have made a series of demands in the hope of enhancing their coverage, which the clubs will discuss today.
In order of preference they have asked for a camera in the dressing room, and audio feed from technical area which can be broadcast live and a camera in tunnel, as well as half-time interviews with managers or players from both teams.
There will also be talks over whether microphones will be put in the managers’ technical area
The Premier League make clear there are sound reasons to grant their requests, underlining the ‘commercial imperative as part of broadcast settlement negotiations,’ but also stress that ‘any additional access confined to period when fans cannot attend.’
The clubs are also under pressure from government to make some of the 45 of the 92 remaining matches not currently scheduled to be broadcast available on free-to-air television, although this element of the new broadcasting arrangements is not due to be discussed today.
The main item on the agenda is a vote on return to training protocols which if passed would enable small group training to take place tomorrow, and the broadcasting changes will be decided at another meeting scheduled for May 28.