Sky Sports’ impact on Blackburn Rovers’ schedule with 18 games picked

Season ticket details for 2023/24 were released this week, as part of the ‘Final Five’ offer, £10 tickets to Reading, the £20 cap against Norwich City and reduced prices for the Hull City game. .

All this with the aim of increasing attendance at Ewood Park, with success and price being the two most important factors.

Rovers have released season ticket details regardless of which division the club is in, and whether it is for the 19 home games attached to a Premier League campaign or all 23 of the Championship.

However, that is not the only unknown for the followers.

Just one day before the season tickets were to be released, two more matches were selected for Sky Sports coverage.

It’s nothing new for matches to be moved to be broadcast live on television, particularly during a period of success on the pitch.

It’s another boost to the coffers, following an FA Cup run that brought the club more than £500,000 in prize money and television revenue.

But it also offered another reminder of the difficulties fans face.

Of the 44 Championship matches that the national teams have covered on television, 18 of Rovers have been chosen, not counting those available on the red button.

Two of those 18 have not seen their start date and time affected, while another three have seen changes of just 15 minutes.

In eight of those 18 games, the start time was moved up or down, while in four both the date and time were affected.

The other selection is Burnley’s home game, which was initially reshuffled but later moved due to their FA Cup progress and was later selected by Sky Sports on the revised date.

Those 18 also don’t include the three FA Cup matches that were selected, two of which were on terrestrial television.

However, Rovers have not chosen to have their home game with Norwich City on Good Friday shown on Sky Sports’ red button facility, although three games in the division will be available at 3pm.

The accessibility of matches is growing at a rapid rate for the indoor fan and as a result affects the fan who attends the match.

Rovers will have five straight games broadcast live on Sky Sports next month.

If the stakes are anything to go by in the last two games against play-off rivals Luton Town and Millwall, it could be seven in a row.

Signing up for a season ticket is no longer the 3:00 pm commitment every other Saturday and it once was.

You only have to look at Rovers’ recent schedule to see that.

It’s not just Rovers fans who have to make these sacrifices and schedule changes, it must be pointed out, and it must equally be recognized that Rovers as a club are so dependent on television money that there is little they can do about it.

There is also the argument that additional ad revenue could be generated on the back of such picks.

Rovers entered the World Cup break in November with a Sunday lunchtime kick-off at Burnley, and resumed their campaign with a 12noon kick-off against Preston North End at Ewood Park.

A week later, on Saturday, December 17, came the 5:30 p.m. game at Norwich City.

It was an early start on Boxing Day, 12.30pm at Sunderland, and there was no chance of an oversleeping New Year’s Day as Cardiff City arrived at Ewood Park on January 1 for a 12 start. :00 p.m.

Foreign television was the reason behind Sunday’s 2pm kick-off of the FA Cup third round at Norwich City, before Sky cameras picked out Rovers’ trip to Rotherham United on Saturday January 14 for a start at 12:30 p.m.

Just when you thought Saturday 3pm had become regular football time once again, with games against Bristol City and Birmingham City, there was Monday night football under the Ewood lights against Wigan Athletic on Monday 6th February.

Three consecutive 3pm weekends against Watford, Swansea City and QPR meant February was unaffected.

However, March included the 12:30pm kick-off against Sheffield United, a Friday night trip to Stoke City and then the 12:00pm kick-off for the FA Cup quarter-final.

April promises to be eventful for players and fans alike.

Of course, there’s the usual Easter doubleheader that is synonymous with the English football calendar, but a Saturday 7:45pm kick-off time certainly isn’t, as will be the case with Hull City (April 15). .

The following week comes the teatime visit to Preston North End, which means it will go three weekends in a row without a 3pm start

All the selections were made within the minimum notice commitment of five and then four weeks, and while he could well be selected on the last day at Millwall, he will not be moved from his current date due to all the games being played at the same time.

Those matches have already been moved, but due to issues outside the clubs control, which means it’s now a Bank Holiday Monday trip to The Den to complete the regular season, and hopefully there’s more to come.

The date of the Championship play-off final was also announced this week.

There are still two months to go and a lot of football to play before then, but equally no kickoff time attached highlights the challenges faced by fans who attend matches.

Rovers’ season ticket pricing structure was met with relative positivity, with hopes that the club can push towards the 10,000 barrier it previously considered the benchmark.

Being a match fan certainly comes with its challenges, but thanks to the strong backing of 6,000 at Sheffield United, the hope will be that the numbers at Ewood continue to grow steadily.


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