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Fans think Sky are breaking blackout rule but there's reason EFL clash is on TV


FANS have been left confused over the 3pm blackout rule, after it was announced that a League Two game will be shown by Sky Sports in that timeslot this weekend.

Traditionally matches cannot be televised between 2:45pm and 5:15pm on a Saturday afternoon in the UK.

Action from Colchester will be televised this Saturday


Action from Colchester will be televised this SaturdayCredit: Rex
Broadcasters are usually restricted by the 3pm blackout


Broadcasters are usually restricted by the 3pm blackoutCredit: Rex

This rule has been in effect since the 1960s, having been implemented in order to protect lower league attendances.

Yesterday it was announced that Colchester‘s League Two final day clash with Crewe Alexandra will be shown live on Sky Sports at 3pm this Saturday.

The announcement left some supporters on social media confused, with one writing: “Didn’t think Saturday 3pm kick offs could be televised?”

While a second asked: “I might be being thick here but what about the 3pm blackout rule?”

As it turns out, the last of the 3pm blackout windows for the 2023-24 season expired last weekend.

There are six windows in total, with the blackout lifted during international breaks and the Christmas period.

As per Uefa, the final window of the season ran between March 30 and April 20.

This means that Sky Sports are free to show action from League Two this Saturday.


They have chosen to broadcast Colchester vs Crewe, with both teams still having something on the line.

Colchester are 22nd in the table, and could still be sucked into the bottom two.

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For the U’s to be relegated they would have to lose with Sutton United winning at MK Dons – and a goal difference swing of four.

Crewe, meanwhile, are going into the match in sixth – and could still finish anywhere between fifth and eighth.

A draw would see both sides achieve their goals, while a win either way could prove costly to the losers, depending on results from elsewhere.

2023-24 3pm blackout windows

UK broadcasters were not allowed to show games between 2:45pm and 5:15pm between these dates

August 5, 2023 – September 2, 2023

September 16, 2023 – October 7, 2023

October 21, 2023 – November 11, 2023

November 25, 2023 – December 23, 2023

January 12, 2024 – March 16, 2024

March 30, 2024 – April 20, 2024

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