Match of the Day as we know it won’t air on Saturday night, but there are plenty of other places where you can watch Premier League highlights.
First airing in 1964, the BBC show has long been the go-to source for highlights of top-flight matches in the United Kingdom.
But with presenter Gary Lineker and pundits Ian Wright and Alan Shearer out of the picture due to the BBC’s impartiality stance, fans are looking elsewhere for their highlight fix. Here are the alternatives to MOTD.
Match of the Day will be aired on Saturday night but it won’t feature any studio punditry, the usual commentators or interviews with players, showing only highlights of the matches.
That’s because the BBC’s pool of MOTD presenters and commentators have all refused to work on the programme in a show of solidarity with Gary Lineker.
The long-standing host angered the Conservative government and its supporters when he criticised their new asylum policy on Twitter earlier this week, saying that the language used in it was similar to “that used by Germany in the 30s.”
It was announced on Friday afternoon he’d be “stepping away” from his duties until an agreement was reached on social media use, but it soon became clear via multiple sources that he had not wanted to do so, being forced off.
The broadcaster claims to have taken such action to ensure it remains politically impartial, but all the move has done has brought that supposed impartiality into question with other BBC presenters receiving no repercussions for stating conservative views in the past and higher-ups being heavily linked to the Tory party.
In terms of Match of the Day, the plan was to air the programme as usual with someone stepping in for Lineker, but it quickly became apparent that wouldn’t be possible with a huge number of presenters and pundits stating they’d refuse to appear as a show of support for their colleague.
As a result, it was announced the show would feature only highlights of the day’s matches with no studio punditry. After that announcement, the BBC commentators pulled out and the PFA confirmed players wouldn’t be giving post-match interviews.
A big part of the appeal of Match of the Day is the studio action and the personalities, so without that aspect, many may wish to find an alternative source for Premier League highlights. In that regard, there are plenty of options.
As well as showing a selection of matches live, Sky Sports also air highlights of every Premier League game on Saturday night, starting at 20:30 with Game of the Day on Sky Sports Premier League. For those in the United States meanwhile, highlights of matches are shown on NBCSN on Saturday nights, on a show also called Match of the Day.
Both Sky and NBC show highlights of every game for free on their YouTube channels too, as do a number of other broadcasters from all over the world.