Sky Sports WON’T keep screening free Premier League matches once football returns to normality

Sky Sports WON’T keep screening free Premier League matches once football returns to normality… as they reveal 80 per cent of subscribers have frozen their sports packages

  • Live Premier League football returns to Sky Sports on Wednesday evening
  • It will be the first action from English top-flight screened live in three months
  • 80 per cent of Sky Sports customers took up the option to pause subscription
  • Sky have allowed 25 of their 64 games in next few weeks to be shown for free
  • But it’s unlikely this will happen in the future as they negotiate rebates 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Sky ‘are unlikely to offer Premier League coverage for free in the future’ as the broadcaster reveals that 80 per cent of its customers paused their sports subscriptions during the Covid-19 shutdown.

Live Premier League football returns to our screens on Wednesday with Sky Sports screening the first two matches back – Aston Villa versus Sheffield United and Manchester City versus Arsenal.

Sky will show 64 of the remaining 92 Premier League matches this season with 25 on their free-to-air channel Pick. This includes Sunday night’s Merseyside derby.

Live Premier League football action is set to return to Sky Sports on Wednesday evening

Live Premier League football action is set to return to Sky Sports on Wednesday evening

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville gives his opinions during a Premier League game this season

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville gives his opinions during a Premier League game this season

However, the Financial Times report such largesse is unlikely to occur in the future with Sky negotiating rebates from the billions it has paid out to acquire top-level sports rights.

The Premier League has agreed to return £170million to Sky, part of a total of £330m being demanded by the English top-flight’s domestic and international broadcast partners.

However, this will be deferred until next season, giving breathing space for the 20 clubs who will be missing out on matchday income with games played behind closed doors.

Sky are offering viewers the chance to watch games in a group chat and pick chants

Sky are offering viewers the chance to watch games in a group chat and pick chants  

It's unlikely that Sky will offer more Premier League games free-to-air after this season

It’s unlikely that Sky will offer more Premier League games free-to-air after this season

The Financial Times reports Sky have also been negotiating rebates with Formula One, the ECB and other sporting events it holds the rights to.

In the absence of live sport during the coronavirus shutdown, 80 per cent of Sky’s customers took advantage of the option to pause their subscription and save money. These will now be reactivated as the Premier League returns.

The 92 remaining games this season will be shared between Sky, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and the BBC.

It is the first time the Corporation has televised top-flight matches live during the post-1992 Premier League era.

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