The BBC could show English top-flight football live for the first time as part of a plan to make a large portion of the behind-closed-doors games free to fans.
With the remaining 92 matches of the Premier League season set to go ahead in empty stadiums if and when ‘Project Restart’ gets the go-ahead, the government are known to be keen to see all of the matches shown live on television.
Forty-seven of the 92 had already been earmarked to be shown by regular Premier League broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport, but – according to The Times – those broadcasters are now set to gain access to the majority of the remaining 45 games.
Because these matches don’t fall under their original televisual agreements, the government want Sky and BT to show them free to air, or possibly stream them via their YouTube channels.
Sky are set to have access to 32 of those ‘extra’ 45 matches and BT eight, meaning that the remaining five could be split between the BBC and Amazon Prime, who broadcast two full rounds of matches in December.
Although the BBC have long held onto their Saturday and Sunday night Match of the Day highlights packages, and have also shown many live FA Cup games, they have never once shown an English top-flight fixture live.
The Premier League hope to be able to make further progress with their plans for a resumption of football at a meeting with clubs next week.
Should matches get the go-ahead, it is thought that a format that would see all 10 fixtures of a Premier League matchweek strung out from Friday night to Monday night, each with an individual kick-off time, would be the desired approach to ensure that fans can indulge in a full weekend of football.