Why is Everton vs Manchester United kicking off at 7pm on Sunday?

BT Sport
(Image credit: Getty)

Premier League fans hoping to catch Everton vs Manchester United this weekend may have been left baffled by the unusual scheduled kick off time of 7pm. 

Usually, weekend games take place at 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm on Saturdays; and 2pm and 4.30pm on Sundays. Why, then, the switch to a later time for this specific fixture? The reason, as is often the case with top-tier football matches these days, is due to television rights holders. 

BT Sport picked Everton vs Man United as their match of game week nine. The broadcaster typically gets the Saturday lunchtime game, with Sky taking the other games allowed to be shown on TV. But given the Red Devils have a Europa League group clash with Cypriots Omonia Nicosia on Thursday evening, BT's standard 12.30pm slot wouldn't accommodate a compulsory gap of 48 hours between a team's fixtures. 

As part of their broadcasting deal this campaign, BT can use a 7pm slot on a Sunday if one of the sides involved in their chosen game is playing in Europe on the Thursday before the match. 

Many fans, as well as Premier League managers, find it frustrating that TV rights holders possess so much power when it comes to altering match fixtures, yet, as things stand, little can be done unless the Premier League decides to clip Sky and BT's wings from next season. 

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