3pm Blackout Rule

Apollo
19444 posts World Class
edited January 27
I wanted to see what the general consensus was these days on the 3pm Blackout rule for football in the UK. First, just in case anyone wasn't aware why it exists:

The reason why you won't see any football broadcast at 3 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon dates back to the 1960s.

Bob Lord, Chairman of Burnley FC, convinced the football league that showing televised games would have impact negatively on his side's attendances and therefore reduce their financial earnings.

Since this time, with the exception of the FA Cup final, between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday, no game - whether played domestically or abroad - can be broadcast on television here in the UK.

Do you think this is still has a place in football in the UK? For those of you who support a lower league club and attend the games, would it make a significant difference if the rule was revoked to your club's attendances if 3pm PL games were shown on TV? Or would it not make too much of a difference given the number of people who stream already these days if they really want to watch a PL game.

Lower league team's attendances aren't overly affected if their game is on at 12:30 or 5:30, i.e. at the same time as a PL game, are they? Or when they coincide with one of the midweek rounds of PL football? It just seems like the rule is incredibly outdated these days and given the introduction of Amazon and them streaming the full quota of PL matches for a couple of weeks this season, hopefully it won't be too long until they abolish the 3pm blackout rule and allow every game to be shown on TV in the UK.

Curious to know what other people think on the matter!

Comments

  • Keano
    16410 posts World Class
    My brother works for my local team & I think it would impact, you'd still get the die hard fans going... but more casuals or people that have to pick their main side... or watching a decent saturday game on the tv it would certainly reduce numbers. Sure it's annoying for me to not be able to watch games, but it could potentially kill some lower league teams off.
  • Apollo
    19444 posts World Class
    Keano wrote: »
    My brother works for my local team & I think it would impact, you'd still get the die hard fans going... but more casuals or people that have to pick their main side... or watching a decent saturday game on the tv it would certainly reduce numbers. Sure it's annoying for me to not be able to watch games, but it could potentially kill some lower league teams off.

    I'm sure there would be some impact, I think that would be inevitable, but I question whether it would be significant enough to make a big difference to those team's revenue these days given the factors I listed in the OP.
  • arsenalap
    8075 posts League Winner
    I think if they just showed one or two of the 3pm KOs and rotation of what teams it would work fine.

    Obviously not all of them as that might impact teams.

    Equally I think if they open up the 3pm slot to TV clubs would get more money so they should really reduce ticket prices to entice more fans to attend.

    This only applies to prem or top tier teams, not sure on the impact to lower league ones tbh.
  • Snugglebites
    1626 posts Play-Off Hero
    Clubs should stream their games and charge per month/match. I'd happily pay for that.
  • Jboom98
    415 posts Sunday League Hero
    Once the football is back I predict September/ October All Premier League games should be shown on TV even on BBC, ITV and SKY and BT should look at what Amazon did except they can use there Red Button Services whenever this pandemic ends we shouldn't have to pay for Sky Sports and BT Sport when lives are lost.
  • El_Nino
    5342 posts Big Money Move
    edited April 3
    Apollo wrote: »

    Can totally see both points of view. On one hand it is ridiculous how hard it is to watch a lot of your teams games if your unable to travel to them often(and don’t like illegal streams) On the other hand there’s a good chance that everything below the Championship would end up semi professional at best in the long run.
  • Apollo
    19444 posts World Class
    edited April 3
    El_Nino wrote: »
    Apollo wrote: »

    Can totally see both points of view. On one hand it is ridiculous how hard it is to watch a lot of your teams games if your unable to travel to them often(and don’t like illegal streams) On the other hand there’s a good chance that everything below the Championship would end up semi professional at best in the long run.

    I get both points of view too, but I think the justification for having the blackout is simply outdated now. The introduction of streaming matches (the Netflix type model) is a game changer, a new model needs to be brought in that is up to date with the times.

    Amazon streaming the full round of matches a few months ago hopefully is the start of things changing now they've seen it can work well.
  • El_Nino
    5342 posts Big Money Move
    Apollo wrote: »
    El_Nino wrote: »
    Apollo wrote: »

    Can totally see both points of view. On one hand it is ridiculous how hard it is to watch a lot of your teams games if your unable to travel to them often(and don’t like illegal streams) On the other hand there’s a good chance that everything below the Championship would end up semi professional at best in the long run.

    I get both points of view too, but I think the justification for having the blackout is simply outdated now. The introduction of streaming matches (the Netflix type model) is a game changer, a new model needs to be brought in that is up to date with the times.

    Amazon streaming the full round of matches a few months ago hopefully is the start of things changing now they've seen it can work well.

    And from a selfish view point Id be happy with that as I support Chelsea and only care for the Prem and Championship, but realistically it will really really hurt everything outside of those league in 10-20 years.

    Think how many kids from Barnsley will grow up watching Man City/Liverpool/Chelsea/United winning and support them instead of going to Barnsley games and supporting them.

    I know it happens already to a lesser extent but I honestly think so many teams that aren’t already established names will really struggle.

    It’s an interesting conundrum.
  • Apollo
    19444 posts World Class
    edited April 3
    El_Nino wrote: »
    Apollo wrote: »
    El_Nino wrote: »
    Apollo wrote: »

    Can totally see both points of view. On one hand it is ridiculous how hard it is to watch a lot of your teams games if your unable to travel to them often(and don’t like illegal streams) On the other hand there’s a good chance that everything below the Championship would end up semi professional at best in the long run.

    I get both points of view too, but I think the justification for having the blackout is simply outdated now. The introduction of streaming matches (the Netflix type model) is a game changer, a new model needs to be brought in that is up to date with the times.

    Amazon streaming the full round of matches a few months ago hopefully is the start of things changing now they've seen it can work well.

    And from a selfish view point Id be happy with that as I support Chelsea and only care for the Prem and Championship, but realistically it will really really hurt everything outside of those league in 10-20 years.

    Think how many kids from Barnsley will grow up watching Man City/Liverpool/Chelsea/United winning and support them instead of going to Barnsley games and supporting them.

    I know it happens already to a lesser extent but I honestly think so many teams that aren’t already established names will really struggle.

    It’s an interesting conundrum.

    I'm very familiar with the counter arguments, this is something I've debated a lot. There are varying opinions on the level of impact that it would have on lower league attendances. I do feel like there are ways that you could minimise that impact though, like people have suggested in posts above. Also, apparently the only countries that take UEFA up on the rule that allows a country to blackout a specific time-slot are England, Scotland and Montenegro. Most countries simply don't do it. If you want to hear the specific section of that podcast where they talk about the blackout, its from around the 38 minute mark onwards. They think it's a matter of time before the blackout rule is addressed because it's an antiquated rule.

    Moving away from specifically the 3pm blackout side of things, if you listen to the podcast I've linked and as I've seen reported from other places, the PL have already been planning for some time to cut out the middle man (the broadcaster) and move directly to a streaming style like Netflix. They even say in that podcast that it's a matter of when, not if.

    That Netflix style approach could then be at some point down the line how they go about addressing the 3pm blackout imo, Amazon already showed they could successfully stream a full round of fixtures for a couple of gameweeks a few months ago.
  • Pooter
    4802 posts Big Money Move
    Apollo wrote: »

    I think that’s only temporary because of the current situation
  • Apollo
    19444 posts World Class
    Pooter wrote: »
    Apollo wrote: »

    I think that’s only temporary because of the current situation

    Yeah I know that, I just didn't expect it. If matches go ahead in a few months time or whenever, I thought they'd put the matches on at different times to get around the rule, rather than temporarily suspending it altogether.
  • Apollo
    19444 posts World Class


    Interesting call. Wonder whether he ends up being right when the time comes
  • Apollo
    19444 posts World Class


    Seeing more and more stories like this now, momentum is definitely growing regarding not wanting the 3pm blackout to return.
  • arsenalap
    8075 posts League Winner
    Apollo wrote: »


    Seeing more and more stories like this now, momentum is definitely growing regarding not wanting the 3pm blackout to return.

    Would be nice if 2 were free. I hope that sky or whoever dont increase prices for more games.

    Its already rediculous
  • Kobayashi
    267 posts Sunday League Hero
    Everybody streams their team at 3pm on Mobdro + various apps, footy is shown all over the world at 3pm, you can always get a stream at 3pm with English commentary, usually fox soccer streams that are re-pinged through the Asian streams, usually a minute delay so don't have the radio on
  • Bob_Dylan
    20693 posts Club Captain
    It’s outdated and should be removed.
  • Apollo
    19444 posts World Class
    edited May 31
    Bob_Dylan wrote: »
    It’s outdated and should be removed.

    I completely agree, that's a very popular view from fans, but it's a viewpoint that's also seemingly becoming more popular with those in the sport who actually have a say on the matter. I think it's a matter of time until its addressed.
  • Apollo
    19444 posts World Class
    arsenalap wrote: »
    Apollo wrote: »


    Seeing more and more stories like this now, momentum is definitely growing regarding not wanting the 3pm blackout to return.

    Would be nice if 2 were free. I hope that sky or whoever dont increase prices for more games.

    Its already rediculous

    Being realistic, I'm not convinced long term that some will be free-to-air, but when the broadcast rights are renegotiated I wouldn't be surprised if it's quite a bit different to how they work now. Whether its something as drastic as the suggested Netflix style system for football or simply someone like Amazon buying more rights than the couple of gameweeks they had this season, who knows, but I think it'll be different when the new rights are negotiated.
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