Football League highlights get prime-time slot

Pompey will see their highlights screened much earlier next season. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey will see their highlights screened much earlier next season. Picture: Joe Pepler
Brett Pitman was on the mark again for Pompey as they earned a draw against Walsall Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Walsall 1: Jordan Cross’ match report

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Football League action is set to be televised from 9pm on Saturdays under a new package.

Channel 5 have bought the rights to broadcast highlights, which were formerly under the banner The Football League Show on BBC1.

The three-year agreement will see the airing of a 90-minute programme featuring every goal from all three divisions.

In addition, for the first time it will be shown in a prime-time slot at 9pm.

Channel 5 will also broadcast highlights from fixtures in the Capital One Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

The move will delight football fans from outside the Premier League, who have been forced to endure watching coverage of their teams late into the night once Match Of The Day has finished.

For Pompey supporters, inevitably that has meant League Two footage at the very end of the programme.

The Football League Show, presented by Manish Bhasin, has also come in for criticism for scrapping editions on weekends when there has been no Championship football.

Instead followers of League One and League Two have been left empty-handed, with the BBC declining to broadcast highlights involving their divisions.

Former Pompey player and manager Steve Claridge has been a regular on the show giving his views, as has Leroy Rosenior.

Channel 5 is now in the process of tendering the contract to produce its highlights show and will make an announcement in due course.

The Football League’s chief executive, Shaun Harvey, said: ‘This is an exceptional opportunity for the Football League to work with a broadcaster that will schedule our matches in a prime-time slot.

‘It will take our games to a wider, younger audience by giving us the chance to be first in front of fans on a Saturday night.’

David Lynn, president of Channel 5’s parent company Viacom International Media Networks UK, added: ‘We are extremely happy to be welcoming back top quality football to such a prominent slot on Channel 5.

‘The Football League is one of the toughest and most attractive club competitions in world football.

‘We’re convinced this highlights package will prove highly popular with a mainstream audience at the heart of our Saturday evening schedule.’