Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to return to Old Trafford this Saturday, against Newcastle. A historic moment that English fans will not be able to follow live.
This Saturday, at 4 p.m. (French time) – or a little later depending on the choice of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – Cristiano Ronaldo should once again set foot on the lawn of Old Trafford, twelve years after his departure for Real Madrid . A sensational event that could mark the history of football. This feedback will be followed, and commented on, around the world. In the whole world ? Not entirely. In England, home of the Premier League, the match between Manchester United and Newcastle will not be broadcast live on television.
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An application of the UEFA statutes …
There are two reasons for this lack of dissemination. The first is regulatory. Article 48 of the UEFA statutes – relating to exclusive rights to audiovisual and radio transmissions – grants each European league the right to cut off all football broadcasts for two and a half hours, either on Saturday or Sunday. England makes use of this possibility and prohibits the broadcasting of Premier League matches on Saturday afternoons, between 2.45 p.m. and 5.15 p.m. (depending on English time zones); or between 3:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. depending on French time zones. A choice that dates back to 1987 and the agreement signed between the ITV and the Football League, the ancestor of the Premier League.
… To protect the British minor leagues
The goal is to protect the minor leagues. The premise is simple: if the Premier League matches are not broadcast live on television, football fans will have more opportunity, and desire, to visit English stadiums, even lower leagues, where clubs rely heavily on home-generated revenue. The second reason for the non-broadcast of the Manchester United-Newcastle match is simpler. The meeting between the Red Devils and the Magpies was placed on Saturday, September 11 at 3 p.m. (UK time), before the return of the five-fold Ballon d’Or within the Mancunian club. Thus, only the English having a ticket for the match will have the leisure to experience this historic moment live.