No league matches have been broadcast live in the prime Saturday afternoon slot in the UK since the 1960s, as football chiefs wanted to protect the live audience numbers for lower league clubs.
Yet that could now change, with club owners in the bottom three leagues eager to bolster revenue after the £595m five-year contract signed with Sky in 2018.
In a game-changing move, there are suggestions that the Football League could make all of their matches available to watch, offering fans a chance to buy a ‘TV season ticket’ to see all their club’s matches each season.
Amazon, Netflix or Apple TV could be the streaming platform equipped to offer this mammoth service, which would be a lot cheaper than the Sky Sports package required.
Naturally, Sky are resistant to the 3pm blackout being cancelled, as they build the weekend around their key matches on Friday nights, Saturday evening and Super Sunday.
Their Soccer Saturday show hosted by Jeff Stelling also attracts a big audience for matches that cannot be viewed on TV, with the model being considered by the Football League clubs a huge threat to Sky’s long-standing dominance of the sport in the UK.
The collective broadcast agreement between Premier League clubs has ensured they are all reaping the rewards of the brand’s appeal.
Yet Liverpool, Manchester United and the rest of the ‘big six’ could collect a lot more cash if they had their own broadcasting agreement, allowing fans to buy games individually from them.
Alternatively, the Premier League could set up its own broadcasting service, with PLTV on offer for around £15-a-month to subscribers around the world likely to generate considerably more cash than the deal with Sky/BT Sport and their global partners.
As the historically big clubs look to cash in on their vast fan bases around the world and generate even more cash and compete with modestly supported rivals bolstered by state-owned clubs backed and huge cash, change may now be inevitable and that could eventually leave Sky, BT Sport and the currently broadcasters out in the cold of this comes to pass.