TV fixtures set to be announced for new Premier League season

3pm kick-offs on Saturday to become more rare

Managers and football supporters alike will be left with best laid plans forced into change when the first wave of live Barclays Premier League television fixtures are announced tomorrow.

The true cost of the £3.018billion deal for domestic TV rights for the next three years - which represents a 70% increase - is set to be the ever-changing schedule of kick off times to fall in with the broadcast slots, making the traditional 3pm Saturday start now more rare, especially for the clubs who would naturally pull in a bigger audience.

Long-term Premier League partners Sky will show some 116 matches over the course of the 2013/2014 campaign, which will now also include the 5:30pm slot on a Saturday once taken by ESPN, who lost out in the new bidding war, as well as their Monday night games at 8pm and 'Super Sunday' at 1:30pm and then 4pm.

However, new players BT - who paid out £738m over three years for the games which under monopoly regulations cannot be sold to Sky - will also have 18 "first picks" which are to be shown at 12:45pm on Saturdays and Bank Holidays via their own platforms, which include a dedicated sports channel available on satellite.

For many years now, football fans have begrudgingly put up with the constant chaos of ever-changing start times at the behest of the broadcast paymasters, but this first round of live games in the coming season is also likely to bring the schedulers into direct conflict with managers of both clubs and country as they look to maximize a best possible start to the campaign.

While David Moyes can probably expect his opening game as new Manchester United manager at Swansea to be played out under the glare of the media spotlight away from the tranquility of 3pm on Saturday August 17 - as may well Jose Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge when newly promoted Hull head to Chelsea and indeed Manuel Pellegrini's baptism in English football when Manchester City host Newcastle - there is also the small matter of England's crucial World Cup qualifiers at the start of September.

Ideally, national team manager Roy Hodgson would want all of his squad to be able to report on Sunday September 1 ahead of the crunch Group H double header with Moldova at Wembley on September 6 and then away in Ukraine the following week.

However, while Manchester United's trip to Liverpool could well be moved forwards to a Saturday lunchtime slot, there appears little flexibility with the scheduling of the north London derby.

Both Arsenal and Tottenham, who are likely to boast a healthy English contingent between them, will have a vital second leg of their respective European play-off ties that week, with Spurs' game set for Thursday August 29, meaning the domestic clash at the Emirates Stadium would have to be moved to the Sunday.

While all of the contingencies will be carefully worked through by the various teams' medical departments to help the best possible recovery for the players, it is doubtful whether any such consideration will be afforded to supporters as their own travel arrangements face a rather large spanner in the works.

A spokesman for the Football Supporters Federation told Press Association Sport: "The fixtures have been out for weeks now so fans will be frustrated that it's taken TV companies so long to get their act together.

"Every passing day can see train fares rising, so the sooner fans know when games are going ahead the better.

"Let's not forget that, as the FSF's 'Twenty's Plenty Campaign' points out, away fans are absolutely vital to the TV 'product'.

"The spectacle isn't the same without supporters packing the stands, yet TV shows the match going fans very little respect and often moves games to almost impossible times for away fans."


Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam