BBC targeting PL viewing record despite Sky Sports’ free-to-air rivalry

The BBC is set to kick off their live Premier League games with Bournemouth ’s clash with Crystal Palace.

It will be shown in the prime time slot on Saturday, June 20, with the first round of TV games set to be confirmed on Thursday after frantic negotiations between the broadcasters.

Armchair viewers were probably hoping for a bigger game for the first ever Premier League game to be shown on the BBC and the first top flight game broadcast since March, 1988.

But Sky and BT Sport had already chosen their picks for live games even before lockdown which has left the BBC and Amazon with very few options left.

Sky have got both games on Wednesday, June 17, and the fixture list will restart with Aston Villa against Sheffield United at 6pm and Arsenal ’s trip to Manchester City at 8pm.

Sky have been pushing for Tottenham ’s clash with Manchester United on Friday, June 19, with the Merseyside derby set to be shown live that weekend.

Even though Tottenham and Man United plus the Merseyside derby will be seen as bigger games, the BBC could still get a bigger audience.

Sky have said they will show the Merseyside derby as one of 25 games they will broadcast free-to-air but the BBC could still trump it.

In fact, the BBC hope that Bournemouth v Palace could be the most watched game in Premier League history especially after three months of lockdown.

It is a huge game for Bournemouth as they battle against relegation but perhaps not what the BBC might have wanted after plenty of horse trading between the broadcasters.

Amazon have also announced that they will make their four extra games free to air.

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Alex Green, managing director of Prime Video Sport Europe, said: “Like the rest of the country, we are excited to see the Premier League return to action.

“We will be making all four of Amazon Prime Video’s additional fixtures in the 2019/20 season available free of charge; fans will not need a Prime membership to view the games on Prime Video.”

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