Sport

Premier League 'open in principle' to mid-season break

Premier League 'open in principle' to mid-season break”

The current TV broadcast deal is due to expire at the end of the 2018/19 campaign, and it is believed that the renewal of these rights would be the flawless opportunity to greenlight an inaugural winter break in English football. In the current deal, Sky Sports own five of the seven packages, with BT Sport owning the remaining two.

Both the Premier League and the FA are keen to bring schedules in England in line with the rest of the top European leagues, and the prospect of a winter break is referenced in tender documents for potential broadcast partners.

Pundits and managers have often said that the lack of a winter break affects the chances of British teams in the Champions League.

"Provided space can be found in the calendar, we are open to this in principle and will continue constructive discussions with our football stakeholders to seek a workable solution".

However, as it stands, nothing can happen until at least the 2019/20 season, which will see the start of a new TV deal, and the Premier League have confirmed they are in discussions with various parties as they try to organise a mid season shut down.

League officials have also considered freeing up the two weekends after the third round of the FA Cup, but such a change would only work for the Premier League as the second, third and fourth tiers of English football need every weekend available in order to complete their respective fixtures.

The congested festive programme (Newcastle played four times between 23 December and 1 January this season) won't be touched and instead any winter break would be planned for January.

Both the Premier League and the EFL are keen that the FA Cup is rebranded as a mid-week competition, but that is unlikely due to the FA's obligations in its £820m overseas TV deal.



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