Premier League 'pushing' for 3pm TV rule change with major impact on Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs

Players line up under the gaze of the television cameras prior to  the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium.

The Premier League's 3pm blackout is seemingly on the brink of being abolished, with an increasing number of clubs reportedly advocating for a change.

The blackout, which bars matches played between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on Saturdays from being televised, has been a fixture since the 1960s. The rule was initially implemented to safeguard match attendances, but many now consider it to be outdated.

Rumours about the potential scrapping of this law have been circulating for some time, and according to The Daily Mail, it now seems 'increasingly inevitable'. The decision to broadcast all EFL matches live on Sky Sports on the opening day of the 2024/25 season is seen as a significant step in this direction.

While the EFL TV decision doesn't affect article 48 of UEFA Statutes, which only comes into play when 50% of Premier League and Championship matches are scheduled to kick-off at that time, it does hint at what could be possible if top-flight bosses decided to overhaul the current regulations.

The rationale behind the blackout preserving attendances is becoming less relevant for Premier League clubs, many of which sell out every game. As such, Premier League owners are eager to secure a larger share of the revenue from TV broadcasters.

The Premier League's next TV contract, covering 2025 to 2029, has already been set without the inclusion of Saturday 3pm fixtures. However, as negotiations for the following period are expected in 2027, there's a mounting call to ditch the blackout, shake up the market, and enhance options for fans who fork out hefty subscription fees.

READ MORE: Premier League chaos predicted over Man City's 115 charges as Arsenal and Chelsea watch on

READ MORE: When does the Premier League season end? As Arsenal and Man City title race set to go to the wire

Sky revealed last December their plans to broadcast an unprecedented 215 live matches per season from 2025 to 2029 marking a significant 70 percent jump from the current number. Yet, despite the eye-catching £6.7billion deal and the substantial increase in live games, the funds trickling down to clubs will see little change.

The surge of American ownership within the Premier League is a key factor driving the campaign to televise 3pm games, considering the time slot's appeal to US viewers. While UEFA oversees the blackout rules, the FA holds the clout to request its removal.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters expressed contentment with the existing arrangement last year. "We've been proponents of Article 48 for the entire Premier League and I don't see that changing in the near term," he stated at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit.

Nonetheless, with the EFL setting a precedent, it seems inevitable that the pressure on both the Premier League and FA to alter their stance will persist.