Sky’s new Saturday night interactive football programme will offer extended highlights of every Premiership match played that day, allowing viewers to choose which games to watch.
Football First kicks off on Sky Sports with the start of the Premiership season. Each week the programme will begin with Game of the Day featuring full match coverage of one of the afternoon’s games, selected after the final whistle.
Later in the evening Match Choice will offer a choice of extended highlights of up to eight other Premiership games played that day, each running for around fifty minutes. The service will also be available on certain midweek Premiership nights.
The new service will present strong competition for the BBC’s Match of the Day, which will be celebrating its fortieth birthday.
In addition Sky Sports will be showing live coverage of 88 matches from the Barclays Premiership. A further 50 live games will be shown via pay per view on Sky’s PremPlus channel.
“The days of some clubs’ games being restricted to a couple of minutes of highlights here and there are gone” said Vic Wakeling, Managing Director of Sky Sports. “Our new Premiership deal gives us rights to show more live matches than ever before on Sky Sports and PremPlus - 138 in all. The other 242 Premiership games played every season will now also be shown, delayed, in this unique Football First package.”
Wakeling continued: “We are using exactly the same technology as on Sky Sports’ UEFA Champions League coverage, where Sky digital viewers can choose from six live matches on a Tuesday night and eight live matches on Wednesday nights during the group stages.”
The launch of Match Choice will mark the fifth anniversary of Sky Sports Active, which has so far been used to enhance eleven different sports.