NATHAN SALT: Ditching 3pm TV blackout will open EFL to huge audience

NATHAN SALT: The 3pm TV blackout has long outstayed its welcome… Ditching it will open up the brilliant stories of the EFL to a huge audience

  • DAZN have launched a bid to show every EFL game for the 2024-25 season 
  • Man City’s FA Cup tie with Sheffield United is set to break the 3pm TV blackout 
  • Losing the blackout will help the EFL reach a new, younger audience

The objectors will be loud and band together in solidarity, citing a need to maintain tradition and to stop football descending into a TV show, but now is the time to evolve. 

The 3pm blackout should go.

The way fans are consuming football, away from being there in person, is proof the blackout has long outstayed its welcome.

The traditional FA Cup kick-off time is no more and looking at tennis, Wimbledon read the room and ditched the middle Sunday rest day to increase fan access.

EFL fans outside the UK have the opportunity to watch every 3pm match via the league’s dedicated iFollow service. Great. 

DAZN has launched a lucrative bid to broadcast every game of the 2024/25 EFL season

A £10 match pass means clubs can make money from interest abroad and yet thousands of UK users can circumnavigate the internet to use the service every weekend through a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

VPNs are legal in the UK — not legal in the case of pretending to have an internet connection in a country outside of the UK in order to use iFollow — and a quick Google search provides guides on ‘how to beat the blackout’.

Ditch the blackout and open up the brilliant stories of the EFL to a huge audience. We are in an era where goals are clipped up and shared on social media within seconds of the action happening.

These videos go viral across a fanbase and suddenly text-by-text updates no longer satisfy.

Ending the 3pm TV blackout will allow EFL clubs to reach wider, younger audiences

People want to see it and are, more often than not, comfortable to find any means to do so.

What DAZN are proposing is a real opportunity to help grow the EFL to new, younger, audiences.

Nothing competes with seeing a match live. I go home and away as a fan of a non-league football club, but accessibility is absolutely vital to attract new audiences.

Tradition is to be admired but all good things come to an end and the blackout should do just that.

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