Premier League, Sky and BT Sport consider free-to-air TV for remaining fixtures

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Premier League football will likely return behind closed doors over the summer months and could be shown free-to-air due to the sheer volume of fixtures that still need to be completed.

Sky and BT Sport will share the live rights to all remaining fixtures and have already held talks about showing extra games “on the red button” with the expectation that football will return without fans in stadiums.

Competition chiefs have made it evidently clear that they intend for fixtures to be televised live, to ensure that supporters do not turn up outside grounds for safety and security reasons.

TV executives accept they will struggle to show all the games, but according to the Daily Mirror there is a chance that some of the action will be shown free-to-air while Sky Sports and BT Sport broadcast the bigger fixtures.

A restart by April 30 appears highly unlikely at this stage due to the worsening nature of the COVID- 19 virus with early June earmarked as a far more realistic date for action to resume.

Top-flight clubs have vowed to complete the 2019/20 campaign despite many high-profile figures calling for it to be null and void.

Talks have been ongoing between the TV companies for weeks but the Premier League remain determined to get the season completed to protect their lucrative broadcast deal and avoid having to pay back £750 million if the season was terminated.

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Reports emerged last week of a plan where players could be kept under strict quarantine rules in the midlands and London across a variety of hotels in “World Cup-style camps.”

Additionally, a host of clubs are currently pushing for wage cuts and deferrals due to financial woes caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

When all is said and done, there is unlikely to be a clear vote on options, but several proposals will be kept in mind so clubs are ready to go when it is safe once the peak of the crisis begins to pass.

The FA will also look at scrapping FA Cup replays next season in order to squeeze the dates in, the League Cup could potentially go to an under-23s competition for top flight clubs while UEFA will look at ways of condensing the Champion League fixtures.

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