The FA are considering scrapping the 3pm blackout for FA Cup games from 2025
The FA are considering scrapping Saturday’s 3pm TV lockdown for the FA Cup to boost competition revenues, with streaming giants lying in wait for rights
- Blackout has been in effect since the 1960s primarily to protect visitor numbers
- Their continued presence has been increasingly strained in recent years
- FA’s consideration comes amid EFL’s invitation to broadcasters to bid for their rights
The FA are considering scrapping the Saturday 3pm TV lockdown for FA Cup games from 2025 to boost the value of the competition’s TV rights.
The Premier League remains in favor of keeping its Saturday afternoon matches off TV, while the EFL has yet to comment on the controversial issue, despite inviting broadcasters to attend their 3pm TV rights auction for 2024/25 offer this is happening right now.
It is understood the FA are also open to lifting the blackout for their own competition, but believing that selling more games would generate more revenue that would be passed on to clubs and grassroots sport.
Under the current four-year deal with BBC and ITV, a maximum of eight FA Cup games in each round have been broadcast live this season, with just four at the weekend due to lockdown restrictions preventing television coverage between 14:45 and 17:15 on Saturdays.
The FA are considering lifting the 3pm blackout for FA Cup games from 2025 to try to increase the televised value of the competition
The FA Cup is paralyzed by the same blackout rules as the leagues at 3pm on a Saturday
English football rules state that no live action can be shown on television between 2.45am and 5.15am on Saturdays
The FA will begin negotiations with broadcasters this summer for the next rights cycle, which begins in 2025/26, with Wembley executives confident they will strike a far better deal if the 3pm kick-offs can be sold . Removing the blackout will likely invite offers from the new generation of streaming services in addition to traditional broadcasters, which would increase the price.
Lower division clubs are likely to welcome the move as it would result in an increase in prize money and appearance money which they feel is currently too heavily biased towards the big clubs reaching the final stages.
Lifting the FA Cup-only blackout would be far less disruptive to English football than if the Premier League or EFL removed it, as FA Cup matches are only played five weekends each year from the actual first round.
DAZN has launched an offer to buy live TV rights for every single EFL game from 2024-25
The Premier League’s support for the blackout is based on its belief that broadcasting only half of the top flight’s games adds value to them, as well as a desire to preserve the collective selling model and protect live viewership.
Significantly, current Premier League rights holders Sky Sports and BT Sport are also in favor of keeping the blackout.
With 1,656 games a season compared to the Premier League’s 380, the EFL is exploring an alternative model and has landed offers from several streaming companies including DAZN and Viaplay but has yet to decide how to proceed.
Their current deal with Sky Sports allows them to broadcast 138 games live each year, plus the play-offs at the end of the season.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11921395/The-FA-considering-DROPPING-3pm-blackout-FA-Cup-fixtures-2025.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The FA are considering scrapping the 3pm blackout for FA Cup games from 2025