Chelsea, Man City Broadcasts To Kick Off Season
Champions League winner Chelsea and Premier League champion Man City will be the first televised matches of the upcoming season, according to the PA. Chelsea's visit to Wigan Athletic on Aug. 19 will be the first of 42 top-flight games shown by Sky Sports between the start of the season and November. They will be closely followed by City, who host promoted Southampton later the same day. ManU will play Everton at Goodison Park the following evening. Every Premier League club "will be featured at least twice." The list of games includes "five major derbies from the midlands, north London, Tyne and Wear, Merseyside and the north west." ESPN will launch its program of Saturday evening kick-offs on Tyneside on Aug. 18 when the Spurs head to Newcastle, who are also featured the following weekend in a tough trip to Chelsea. (PA, 7/5).
NO RELIEF FOR NEWCASTLE: The PA also reported that Newcastle will have to play twice in three days to start the season after both UEFA and police "refused pleas to reschedule games." Newcastle faces a televised EPL trip to Chelsea Aug. 25, less than 48 hours after they play the first leg of their Europa League qualifier. The Magpies asked for the Chelsea game, which is being shown by ESPN at 5:30pm GMT, "to be moved back a day," However, they were "refused permission" by the Metropolitan Police, and subsequently "failed with a request to UEFA" to move the game up a day (PA, 7/5).
BBC'S SHUFFLE: In London, Josh Halliday reported that the BBC's Match of the Day 2 is to be broadcast on BBC1 "because of the increased number of Premier League games played on a Sunday." The Premier League highlights programme, which is fronted by broadcaster Colin Murray, will move from BBC2 for the start of the upcoming season. Match of the Day 2 will now air on BBC1 at 10:25pm GMT on a Sunday. Announcer Gary Lineker's Match of the Day will continue to be broadcast in its regular Saturday evening slot on BBC1. BBC1 Controller Danny Cohen said, "As a huge fan of Match Of The Day I'm thrilled that MOTD2 is moving to a regular home on BBC1. The audience response to the BBC's coverage of Euro 2012 has been fantastic, meaning that this is the perfect moment to make this move" (GUARDIAN, 7/5).