Live Streaming of Matches


An update from the FA with regard to the streaming of football matches.


You may recall that the previously enforced “blocked hours” were lifted owing to COVID -19 and the inability of Clubs to play in front of fans (or restrictions in spectator numbers) at matches in the National League System. As a result of the return of spectators blocked hours will be reintroduced for the 2021/22 season.

To that end, please note the broadcasting of matches (including live streaming) during “blocked hours” is prohibited from 7th August 2021. To clarify, the streaming of matches outside of blocked hours is permitted. For FA Cup, Trophy and Vase fixtures Clubs must adhere to the specific competition Regulations pursuant to broadcasting.

What are blocked hours?

Blocked hours are set time periods occurring on a Saturday when it is prohibited to broadcast any form of live football.

Blocked hours for Season 2021-2022 are every Saturday occurring during each period set out below between the hours of 14:45 and 17:15:

Saturday 7 August 2021 – Saturday 28 August 2021
Saturday 11 September 2021 – Saturday 2 October 2021
Saturday 16 October 2021 – Saturday 6 November 2021
Saturday 20 November 2021 – Saturday 18 December 2021
Saturday 1 January 2022
Saturday 15 January 2022 – Saturday 19 March 2022
Saturday 2 April 2022 – Saturday 7 May 2022

The position will be monitored during the season in the event that COVID -19 restrictions prevent or limit spectator attendance at matches.

Why do we have blocked hours?

Blocked hours have been in place for many years in England and are permitted by Article 48 of the UEFA Statutes.

The rationale for blocked hours includes:

To ensure spectators are not deterred from attending your matches.
In parallel to the above, protecting clubs’ revenue generated by gate receipts.
To protect the interests of football within each national association.
For the avoidance of doubt, clubs are not permitted to broadcast games in the periods set out above, but mayrecord fixtures for later match analysis or highlights purposes.

What are the consequences of broadcasting or live streaming matches during blocked hours?

This could result in disciplinary action against a Club or individuals as Clubs would be in breach of UEFA Article 48.