Tottenham Hotspur’s first match in their new stadium against Crystal Palace on April 3 is going to be an exciting time for all Spurs fans. It’s the first opportunity to see the new state of the art ground in an official Premier League with a full-to-capacity stadium.
But you know who won’t get to see it? Most of England. Because apparently neither of the two English networks that have rights to broadcast the Premier League in the United Kingdom have opted to pick up the match.
According to football.london, Sky Sports has opted to televise the Premier League match between Manchester City and Cardiff on April 3, while BT Sport apparently are not showing any more Tottenham matches for the remainder of the season. That means unless things change between now and April, if you live in the UK the only place you can legally see this match will be inside the stadium.
* slow clap *
This boggles my mind. It’s the newest, and one can argue the best stadium in the United Kingdom, a huge historic moment in the Premier League, and not one network is going to cover it anywhere in England? I’m told that BT doesn’t even have the option to pick the match, based on their current Premier League TV contract.
Thankfully, American fans are guaranteed to be able to see the match, as they can every Premier League match throughout the season. While the NBC sports schedule for early April hasn’t been released yet, the match will almost certainly be on broadcast television, and probably NBC Sports Network, as it seems unfathomable that a match such as this one would be parked on NBC Sports Gold. The Two Robbies would have a conniption.
Sky Sports is scheduled to carry each of Spurs’ following three home matches against Huddersfield, Brighton, and West Ham, and, ironically, Sky will broadcast the “opening ceremony” at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium... just not the match itself. Because instead they’re going to televise Manchester City. Against Cardiff. Because... reasons.
I’ve never fully understood how England manages to screw up televising football so badly. I get the supposed reasons behind the 3 p.m. kickoff blackouts, but it’s pretty ironic that Americans can literally watch more Premier League than Britons and might be among the only viewers able to legally watch Spurs’ new stadium debut. Good job, good effort.