Open goal for bars with festive football

Raft of live games on over Christmas and New Year period

There will be at least one Old Firm derby in December. Image: Getty

A RAFT of highly-anticipated football fixtures could drive footfall further for many pubs and bars over the festive season.

Live sport broadcasters have released their TV schedules for December and January and it looks like there will be plenty of reasons for operators to cheer, with at least one Old Firm derby, a cup final and a host of huge games from the English Premier League – not to mention what is arguably the year’s most anticipated boxing match – all on the slate.

Bars with Sky Sports subscriptions will be able to show the league clash between Celtic and Rangers at Parkhead  on Sunday December 29, which is guaranteed to draw in crowds.

The broadcaster also has more than 20 top flight English games lined up, including a Saturday evening Manchester derby on December 7, which is followed by the mammoth heavyweight title rematch between Anthony Joshua and his Snickers-eating conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr on Sky Sports Box Office. Other notable games on Sky include Chelsea’s away trip to Tottenham on Sunday December 22 and Liverpool v Manchester United on Sunday January 19.

And BT Sport pubs may well be offering up a must-watch Old Firm, or all-Edinburgh, Betfred League Cup final at Hampden on Sunday December 8 as the semis conclude this weekend (November 2 and 3) with east meeting west in both fixtures.

In addition, BT will be screening nine top English fixtures across its channels on New Year’s Day, as part of its festive football schedule.

Bruce Cuthbert, director for commercial customers at BT Sport, said: “BT Sport will welcome in 2020 with style as nine Premier League games are broadcast on New Year’s Day with live football from 12.30pm through to nearly 10pm. With the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all featuring, customers will see the new year start with a bang.”

Elsewhere, a new streaming service for the on-trade was launched last week. Screach has partnered with Premier Sports to offer the broadcaster’s games, which include Scottish Cup, Serie A and La Liga action, live on what are being described as  low-cost, short, flexible contracts.