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Advertisements to be capped in empty stadiums on Premier League return (Mail)

Published on: 05 June 2020

Premier League clubs will be prevented from dressing their crowd-free stadiums with masses of advertisements for sponsors when the season resumes.

Advertising will be capped at 25 per cent of the branding at each club’s ground, with 65 per cent reserved for images of fans and 10 per cent for the Premier League’s imagery and logos.

The proposals, put together by the Premier League’s broadcast enhancement advisory group, were voted through 19 to one at Thursday’s shareholders meeting, as the vast majority of clubs welcomed the Premier League’s solution to the appearance and feel of stadiums bereft of supporters.

A desire to keep their sponsors and commercial partners happy was one of the main reasons the Big Six clubs joined those threatened by relegation in opposing the wholesale use of neutral venues, which as Sportsmail revealed earlier this week will now only be considered for four matches. The same ground regulations will apply to any neutral venues used, with the ‘home’ team given control of dressing the stadium.

Clubs also accepted the advisory group’s recommendations for altered broadcasting arrangements, but as revealed by Sportsmail, Sky Sports and BT Sport requests for half-time interviews and dressing-room cameras were rejected.

‘Some workable options have been discarded due to the sensitive nature of access demands,’ the Premier League’s recommendations stated.

Instead of inviting television viewers into the clubs’ inner sanctum, the Premier League have focused on attempting to improve the audio experience of watching matches at home, in the absence of any spectators in attendance.

The proposal to use crowd noise from the FIFA 20 video game, as reported by Sportsmail earlier this week, was accepted, although it will only be added to the broadcast feed rather than played into stadiums through the public address system.

The crowd noise will appear as an additional option for viewers to select via the red button, rather than being part of the main channel’s coverage.

A request for a live audio feed from the coaches’ dugout was also rejected, although a soundtrack of the referee’s pre-match coin toss with both captains will be made available to broadcasters.

In addition, music will be played at key moments in matches, at the home club’s discretion.

These include at kick-off, after goals scored by the home team and during substitutions made by the home team, as well as at half-time and full-time.


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