Why isn't Manchester United v Brighton on TV?

Why isn't Manchester United v Brighton on TV?
(Image credit: PA)

Manchester United v Brighton kicks off tonight in the Premier League – but unfortunately for Red Devils and Seagulls a-like, the match won't be broadcast in the United Kingdom.

The game has been pushed back after a postponement. Originally, it wasn't set to be shown on TV – and there's been no change to that, despite it now being on a Tuesday night, while most of Europe are tuned into the Champions League.

You see, the Premier League gives a set number of fixtures to broadcasters in the UK. This changed during lockdown – since there was no one attending in the stadium – but it's all part of the idea that if every game was on TV, no one would bother going. 

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The 3pm blackout rule prevents broadcasters usually showing matches on Saturday afternoons.

While the rule has come into question in the digital age and with the increased support for Premier League sides from abroad, it's illegal for UK television companies to show any kind of football between 2:45pm and 5:15pm on a Saturday within the United Kingdom. 

Until recently, the FA Cup Final was an exception and was broadcast at 3pm on a Saturday in May. The 2012 FA Cup Final was the first to be moved to 5:15pm.

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.