Friday evening Premier League matches to be introduced

From the beginning of the 2016-17 season, there will be regular Friday evening matches in the Premier League, due to the latest television rights deal for the English top-flight, ITV News has reported.

Bidding for the right to broadcast matches live from after the end of next season began on Friday, and the deals that will be eventually struck are likely to be even more lucrative than the current package, which came into effect in the summer of 2013 and has been partly responsible for large transfer fees, such as Manchester United’s purchase of Angel Di Maria for £57m from Real Madrid.

Up to 10 Premier League matches will be shown on Friday night, with 168 live games up for grabs to broadcasters, compared to the current 154. However, the Football Supporters Federation is against the proposals, as they believe that Friday night matches will have a ‘detrimental impact on match atmospheres and the interest of supporters’.

There is also concern about the durability of the traditional 15:00 GMT kick-off on a Saturday, but the Premier League responded in a statement which read: “This creates an attractive offering for broadcasters and fans; whilst allowing the continued protection of the Saturday 3pm ‘closed period’ – the purpose of which is to encourage attendances and participation at all levels of the sport at the traditional time at which English football takes place across the country.”

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