BBC may be handed live matches if Premier League clubs vote to screen every behind-closed-doors match
THE BBC could be awarded more live Premier League matches this season if clubs perform a U-turn on their decision to block fans from watching 160 games on television.
The Telegraph claim that all twenty top-flight sides will hold talks this week to decide whether to continue screening their fixtures while fans remain banned from being in stadiums.
The Government has urged the Premier League to "follow the spirit of Project Restart" in making more games available to fans on TV.
And clubs have now agreed to reconsider their refusal to allow more than 220 games to be shown live at a shareholders' meeting on Thursday.
The Premier League initially began talks with its broadcast partners to potentially screen every match from the beginning of the season until the start of October at the least.
Those include Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon, but also the BBC, which became the first terrestrial broadcaster to air live Prem matches earlier this year.
The Beeb also set the record for the most-watched Premier League game ever after it broadcast Southampton's 1-0 win over Manchester City.
But as what would happen if the BBC aired matches for the new season, the company's radio coverage and Match of the Day show drew fewer numbers.
And the report claims the Beeb are wary of that with highlight show MOTD costing them £211.5million in rights for the 2019-22 seasons.
Yet sources at the rights holders, via the Telegraph, are expecting the BBC to be awarded at least one fixture if the Prem reverse their screening stance.
That would mean the BBC showing one of the 11 games not already selected for broadcast by lead broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport.
The two rivals have already swooped to show every one of Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City’s this month.
As with Project Restart, Sky, BT and Amazon would be expected to be given nearly all the other remaining matches.
A potential split would see Sky awarded six or seven, BT two or three and Amazon and the BBC one each.
Sources were not expecting the Premier League to present an alternative method of screening the eleven matches – such as via clubs' own websites.
A pay-per-view model is also unlikely to be approved at this stage.
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