Premier League fans can expect several games taking place at an unusual time of 8pm on a Saturday going forward.
There have already been a few league matches this season that got underway at 8pm.
Manchester City’s first home game of the season against Newcastle was the first league fixture to take place on Saturday evening this season. A second half strike form Julian Alvarez was enough to give Pep Guardiola’s side all three points.
Manchester United have also been in action at 8pm. Erik ten Hag’s side defeated Burnley 1-0 – with Bruno Fernandes scoring the only goal of the game.
Mail Sport breaks down why there are 8pm kick-offs this season.
Why are there 8pm kick-offs?
In previous years, there have been three Saturday slots for matches to take place: 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – with TNT occupying the early slot and Sky Sports showing the 5.30pm games.
However, the league agreed last season that clubs playing on a Wednesday at 8pm can’t play in the 12.30pm Saturday lunchtime kick-off.
Over the years, managers have hit back at the schedule – particularly when their side is in European action in the week. This proved to be a big factor for the change in the fixture schedule.
City’s clash with Newcastle took place a few days after their UEFA Super Cup triumph over Sevilla, while United’s clash with Burnley took place on Saturday evening following their defeat to Bayern Munich on Wednesday evening in the Champions League.
What’s been said?
Andrew Georgiou, President of Sports at Discovery gave his thoughts on the decision to have more Saturday 8pm games.
Speaking to the Times, Georgiou said: ‘We are happy to have the 12.30 kick-off that we purchased as part of the package but the reality is the clubs and the league have agreed that if there is a club playing in the Champions League on a Wednesday night they cannot play in the 12.30pm Saturday kick-off.
‘At 12.30pm on the Saturday, it’s perfect for us, it’s our time slot. Unfortunately the Premier League and the clubs have agreed that if that happens it can’t start at 12.30pm so we have to find another slot. I don’t think we can be asked to change our picks. What we have to do is find out the best time-slot to accommodate the club’s needs and our needs in terms of which matches we pick.
‘I don’t think we should be expected to change our picks on the basis of who is playing on a Wednesday night.’