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Premier League clubs discuss kick-off times and free-to-air games

Premier League clubs have discussed increasing the variety of kick-off times if the season resumes.

Project Restart involves the league returning in June and finishing at the end of July to fit in with Uefa’s European competition plans.

The Premier League is also in talks with broadcasters, the government and clubs about showing some behind-closed-doors games on free-to-air television.

Of the 92 matches left this season, 47 will be available on Sky or BT.

But there are discussions with the Premier League’s broadcast partners about what would be reasonable in making the other 45 games free-to-air. That could mean games being streamed live on the Premier League’s or a broadcaster’s YouTube channel.

Last month, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee: “I have said to the Premier League it wouldn’t send the best signal if they were one of the first major sports to resume behind closed doors and the public at large couldn’t have access to it.”

Changing kick-off times was discussed at Friday’s shareholders meeting.

In early April, Uefa lifted the ban on showing games starting at 15:00 BST on a Saturday live on TV in England and Scotland following requests from the Football Association and the Scottish Football Association.

The blackout has long been in place during the English and Scottish season to protect attendances.

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