*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
Cast your mind back to the dark days of the coronavirus pandemic. Staying in all the time, quizzing over Zoom, scrolling through Netflix trying to find something new to watch… it was hell. But there was one bright spot at the end of the tunnel… wall-to-wall live football on TV!
You couldn’t move for a match on the box at the time but the Saturday 3pm television blackout has been back in force this season seeing as we’ve returned to normality (well, kind of).
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Footie fans will be able to get their telly fix this Saturday afternoon, however, when Premier League title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool meet in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.
The big game kicks off at 3.30pm so why is it allowed to be shown on television in the UK during the blackout period?
Well, it’s all thanks to a rule buried within the blackout regulations. The 3pm ban only comes into force when 50 per cent or more of the top two domestic leagues are being played at that time. A key life lesson there, always read the small print!
As the Championship games take place on Good Friday and Easter Monday while there are just three Premier League fixtures – Manchester United v Norwich, Southampton v Arsenal and Watford v Brentford – slated for 3pm on Saturday, Manchester City v Liverpool can be broadcast on BBC One.
The FA Cup semi-final tie has to be played at that time due to Liverpool’s Premier League clash against Manchester United taking place on Tuesday, while a lack of direct rail links to London for fans from the north west means earlier and later kick-off times were dismissed.
Man City v Liverpool odds
Manchester City are the slight favourites with Paddy Power to win the FA Cup semi-final in 90 minutes as Pep Guardiola hunts a first major trophy of the season.
Liverpool are on for an unprecedented quadruple after claiming the Carabao Cup earlier in the campaign.
The two teams played out a 2-2 draw in last weekend’s and you can back a draw on the widget below if you fancy another stalemate over the 90 minutes.
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