Premier League games ‘could be streamed for free’ if played behind closed doors

Premier League clubs have reportedly held talks with broadcasters about streaming matches for free if games have to be played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus outbreak.

League officials were told by the government on Monday that there is "no rationale to close or cancel sporting events as things stand".

However, Premier League clubs have been told to make contingency plans for playing games without fans, and there is a growing feeling that will happen as the disease continues to spread.

And games could be streamed live for free if that happens, according to a report from the Daily Mail .

The publication says that was one option discussed on Monday as governing bodies of major sports attended a meeting held by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

It is believed the FA might be open to lifting restrictions on live TV coverage of games at 3pm on Saturdays if fans were locked out.

However, the Premier League regard that as a dangerous precedent and may object, according to the Mail.

Monday's meeting came as European football was plunged into chaos with the Champions League and Europa League hit by coronavirus.

Some Wolves fans had already begun to make their journey to Greece when UEFA announced that Thursday's Europa League match against Olympiacos is to be held behind closed doors.

And it is believed Chelsea's Champions League trip to face Bayern Munich in Germany next week could go the same way.

After Monday's meeting, the DCMS issued a statement which read: “Based upon the current scientific advice from the Government’s medical experts there is no rationale to close or cancel sporting events as things stand.

“We will remain in regular dialogue with sports governing bodies and broadcasters, ensuring they are in receipt of the most up to date guidance from the health authorities.”

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