‘No bigger than Songs of Praise’: the early days of live league football on TV | Tottenham Hotspur

It was a move that divided opinion. When news broke in the summer of 1983 that Division One matches would be shown live on BBC and ITV, there was more anxiety than expectation. The £5.2m deal gave the channels five league matches each, although the BBC only covered four due to a technicians’ strike. There was no chance of over-exposure during the first full season of live coverage, but the relationship between the national game and television would change the sport forever.

ITV had shown the only live league match before, a fixture between Blackpool and Bolton in 1960, but on Sunday 2…

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