Live sport returns - When and where can I watch the Premier League?
It’s official - the Premier League is returning. England’s most-watched sporting league is finally coming back to complete the season behind closed doors later this month, with a huge amount of games available to watch across a variety of channels and services. If you’ve been starved for live football during lockdown, June is set to be a big month for you. Here’s how you can catch all the live action when the league returns.
When is the Premier League coming back?
Matches from the top flight of English football will resume on Wednesday, June 17th. This is after a near 3-month period where live sport was all but cancelled due to social distancing measures put in as a response to COVID-19.
Every one of the 92 Premier League games yet to be played will be broadcast live on TV, with viewers able to watch the action on Sky Sports, Amazon Prime, BT Sport and BBC. Because of the time it has taken for the league to be resumed, there will be a lot of games played at once, meaning there’ll be plenty of football to watch once everything kicks off again.
How can I watch the Premier League?
You’ll be able to watch live coverage in much the same way you would have done previously in the season, with a few caveats.
64 of the 92 remaining games will be broadcast exclusively on Sky Sports, making it still the most prolific broadcaster of the league by far. These matches will be available to watch to Sky Sports subscribers, but since these are unusual circumstances, Sky is broadcasting 25 games for free. These will be available to watch on Sky’s Pick channel. One of the biggest games of the season - the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton - will be one of the first free games available.
Amazon has announced that it will offer four Premier League games to stream via its platform. However, you won’t need to be a subscriber to tune in - Amazon will be making these games free to watch for the first time.
BT Sport is offering 20 live and exclusive games via its platform, which you’ll be able to watch if you’re a subscriber. BT is the only provider not offering free games to watch for non-subscribers.
The BBC is planning to broadcast four games from the Premier League, which will mark the first time it has shown any live matches from the top flight since 1988. These will, of course, be free to watch, with those who have access to the BBC’s HD channels also able to tune in there.
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Can I watch the Premier League for free?
Fans will be able to watch 33 total matches for free. This is unprecedented in the Premier League, which has always locked its televised games behind some sort of paywall. This decision has been taken due to the extraordinary circumstances the league finds itself in. Games will be played behind closed doors, meaning that no fans will be in attendance while matches are decided.
The league and broadcasters have decided to make this many games free in order to keep fans of various clubs engaged with the game, and to kickstart excitement for the return of the league and sport in general. Overall, it adds up to a great deal for anyone who is into football but is not subscribed to Sky Sports, Amazon Prime or BT Sport.
Will I be able to watch other football leagues?
If you’re interested in other football across the world or simply don’t support a team in the Premier League, there are some chances to catch other games. The German Bundasliga has already returned, with BT Sport offering matches from that league exclusively.
In terms of other English leagues, Leagues 1 and 2 have already decided to cancel their seasons, meaning no more matches will be played beyond the play-offs, which will decide the winners. It is not yet known when these games will take place, or if they’ll be broadcast.
The Championship has been scheduled to return at the same time as the Premier League, and will presumably be shown on Sky Sports as part of its lineup.
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Can I watch the Championship as well?
The EFL has confirmed that the Championship (the league below the Premier League) is set to return on the same weekend as the PL. While there won’t be any free games available to watch from the Championship, fans will still be able to catch the vast majority of the action via Sky Sports.
Coverage will resume on June 20 with Fulham v Brentford and West Brom V Birmingham. Following that, there’ll be 9 games broadcast across 10 days, with Sky Sports showing a total of 30 matches. Viewers will also be able to keep track of all the goals every match day and tune into all the EFL’s playoff matches across the 3 divisions.
Will I be able to watch FA Cup games?
With the announcement that live sport will be returning, the FA Cup is also set to come back. The competition still has its quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals to complete, so there should be plenty of games to watch. As ever, the final will be broadcast for free on BBC.