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UEFA To Introduce Changes To Champions League Kick Off Times

UEFA To Introduce Changes To Champions League Kick Off Times
By Mikey Traynor

One of the most common complaints of football fans in Ireland who wish to enjoy the Champions League action from the comfort of their own homes is that whether it is RTE or TV3 showing the games, there is often a more interesting match that isn't being broadcast.

We saw an example earlier this week as Celtic faced Manchester City in a match of little significance, while Borussia Dortmund travelled to Real Madrid in a battle for top-spot in their group.

It's not the network's fault, as they will always show the team they feel has the biggest audience on these shores, but for those who don't have the option of online streaming or BT Sport's extra channels, you're stuck with what you get, one match on a Tuesday and one match on a Wednesday.

But that is about to change. Marca are reporting that UEFA will introduce staggered kick-offs similar to the ones already in place for the Europa League, and it means that now we will get two live matches on each day, one that kicks off at 6pm Irish time, with the next kicking off at 8pm.

The kick-off times of Champions League matches will change from the 2018/19 season onwards, with the 20:45 CET games being moved to slots of 19:00 CET and 21:00 CET.

On each evening of Champions League group stage football, there will be two matches played at the earlier hour, with the remaining six games taking place at the later time of 21:00.The decision follows changes already implemented in the Europa League, where each round of matches is split into multiple time slots.

So now there will be two matches kicking off at the earlier time of 6pm, and then the six other games at the slightly later time of 8pm.

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That may prove to be tricky for the actual match going fans, as getting out of work in time for a 6pm kickoff will be nearly impossible for most, but in terms of fans watching from home, it's nothing but good news.

The decision will result in more TV revenue for both UEFA and the clubs involved, so the only negative is that early time making things difficult in clashing with the commuter traffic.

The problem of good games not being shown in favour of the English Premier League sides will still be an issue on occasion, but having two games played earlier in the evening opens the possibility to stack big games back to back, something that will no doubt be welcomed by football fans everywhere.

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These changes will come into effect for the 2018/19 season, so this year and next year's Champions League action will remain the same.

[via Marca]

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