Premier League kick-off: what do pubs need to know?

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Big kick-off: matches involving Premier League runners-up Liverpool were the most sought after among pubgoers
Big kick-off: matches involving Premier League runners-up Liverpool were the most sought after among pubgoers
Following the reveal of the 2019-20 Premier League fixtures on 13 June, here’s what pub operators need to know ahead of kick-off on 9 August.

Who will be showing what?

Of the 380 Premier League fixtures for the 2019-20 season, which were announced on 13 June, an unprecedented 200 will be televised – 42 more than last season.

Though BT Sport and Sky Sports are still the main rights holders by far, the rights auction​ earlier this year was a watershed moment for the Premier League as, after much speculation, Amazon entered the fray​ to purchase the right to broadcast fixtures.

Amazon ​– 20 games next season – 10 fixtures from Boxing Day and 10 from one bank holiday

BT Sport​ – 52 games next season – 32 fixtures at 12.30pm on Saturday and 20 midweek fixtures

Sky Sports​ – 128 games next season – 32 fixtures at 5.30pm on Saturday, eight fixtures at 7.45pm on Saturday, 32 fixtures at 2pm on Sunday, 32 fixtures at 4.30pm on Sunday and 24 matches on Mondays at 8pm or Friday nights.

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The big kick-off

The opening weekend’s televised fixtures were announced with, for the third campaign on the spin, a Friday night fixture serving as the season’s curtain-raiser.

Friday 9 August

Liverpool v Norwich – 8pm – Sky Sports

Saturday 10 August

West Ham v Manchester City – 12.30pm – BT Sport

Spurs v Aston Villa – 5.30pm – Sky Sports

Sunday 11 August

Newcastle v Arsenal – 2pm – Sky Sports

Manchester United v Chelsea – 4.30pm – Sky Sports

Sky Business managing director David Rey said: “Last season was one of the Premier League’s best yet, with Liverpool pushing Manchester City to the final day in a compelling title race.

“It’s shaping up to be an unmissable season of sport and with Sky Sports on your team, licensees can be sure their customers will be able to watch the biggest names and the biggest games from the Premier League every week throughout the season – all at key trading times.

“It all gets under way with European Cup winners facing newly promoted Norwich, before one of the most anticipated heavyweight clashes of the season, with Chelsea travelling to Old Trafford. We can’t wait for the season to get started and give licensees more money-making opportunities for their business.”

Liverpool most in-demand team last season

According to data from sport pub and fan network MatchPint, the top six most searched for Premier League fixtures on its app in the 2018-19 season all involved Liverpool – with Jurgen Klopp’s then title chasing side’s visit to Old Trafford in February the most sought-after fixture.

The top six fixtures in popularity order were:

  • Manchester United v Liverpool
  • Manchester City v Liverpool
  • Arsenal v Liverpool
  • Liverpool v Arsenal
  • Liverpool v Wolves
  • Liverpool v Manchester United

Consumers demand the big fixtures

Perhaps unsurprisingly, all but four of the top 100 most searched Premier League games from last season included one of the 'big six' clubs.

The only four fixtures not to include any of Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea or Arsenal were:

  • Wolves v Everton
  • Leicester v West Ham
  • Crystal Palace v Brighton
  • West Ham v Fulham

Diversify your sports coverage

According to search data from MatchPint, the most sought after for Premier League fixture from last season, Manchester United v Liverpool, wasn’t included in the top 20 most searched for sporting events between August 2018 and May 2019

Surprisingly, pubgoers using the app were more interested in searching for England v Australia in the 2018 Autumn Internationals rugby union, and high-profile nights of boxing such as Oleksandr Usyk v Tony Bellew and Dillian Whyte v Joseph Parker.

A spokesperson from MatchPint explained: “This truly reinforces the opinion we've held for a long time at MatchPint that if you only pay for your Sky Sports and BT Sports subscription to just show the Premier League, you're wasting half your money.

“If you're worried about showing different sports rather than a smaller Premier League game, this should be a helpful nudge to get behind trying something new because those bread and butter Premier League games aren't what people are after in the pub.”

Weekends to look out for

Looking ahead to the opening months of next season, a spokesperson from MatchPint highlighted six weekends of sport when pub operators can treat their customers to bumper weekends of live action across the Premier League, Rugby World Cup warm-up games and The Ashes cricket series.

11 August​ - England v Wales, Rugby World Cup warm-up game at 2pm before Man United v Chelsea at 4pm

17 Augustweekend​ - The Ashes Second Test and Manchester City v Spurs, which is pencilled in for Saturday 17 August but may yet move to Sunday for TV.

24 August weekend​ - The Ashes Third Test, England v Ireland in a Rugby World Cup warm-up game and potentially – based on TV changes – Liverpool v Arsenal.

31 August weekend​ – A Rugby World Cup warm-up game between Wales and Ireland, potentially followed by the north London derby between Arsenal and Spurs.

21 September weekend​ – Ireland v Scotland and England v Tonga in the Rugby World Cup as well as Chelsea v Liverpool and West Ham v Manchester United.

29 September weekend​ – Australia v Wales in the Rugby World Cup and potentially Manchester United v Arsenal and Everton v Man City.

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