For all the talk of more golf, tennis, rugby, darts and women's sports, there's still one competition which butters Sky's bread like no other. I speak, of course, about the Premier League - the most lucrative and competitive league on the face of the planet. It's become an important battleground for Sky in recent years, as BT came out of nowhere in 2013 to land a fair chunk of Premier League matches for their new, competing service, and so each year Sky make a big fuss over their forthcoming matches. With the transfer window well underway and clubs like Man U picking up stars like Memphis Depay, Liverpool getting hot young striker Danny Ign's signature and even Stoke making a move for Inter Milan's Xherdan Shaqiri, it poses to be one of the more interesting seasons in recent memory.
By the end, we'll find out if Manchester Utd can finally regain their place as champions, whether Chelsea can lift the cup for the second time in a row and whether Arsenal's acquisition of Petr Cech will put them back on top. Before all that though, we've got the start of the season to look forward to, and it will begin on Sky Sports with Chelsea defending their title as the first of 24 live matches from the opening seven rounds of the season. Sky sports will show every team live by the end of September and their schedule features 14 matches involving last season's top four.
That includes huge head-to-heads including Manchester City v Chelsea, Arsenal v Liverpool and Manchester United v Liverpool, which are bound to be huge talking points in the early moments of the season. These live matches are the first of 116 games which will be features on Sky Sports, with commentary from Sky Sports' incredible team of Thierry Henry, Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Jamie Redknapp and Graeme Souness. It's a team that Sky are delighted with, and which keeps customers coming back to the Sky services number to renew.
Alongside the PL season, a new deal with the Football League will see more Championship, League One and League Two games on the TV than ever before as well as Capital One Cup action, the climax of UEFA Euro 2016 qualification, action from Scotland in the SPFL and Scottish Cup, as well as MLS and Eredivisie.
Sky Sports Managing Director Barney Francis said: “Sky Sports will be live from the home of the champions as another Premier League season kicks off, and with these first seven rounds of games there is much to look forward to. In our opening 24 matches we will show every Premier League team, telling the complete story as the season starts to take shape, as well as the big head to heads like Man City v Chelsea and Man Utd v Liverpool.
“With 116 games from the Premier League it will be another huge season of live football on Sky Sports, with more Football League games than ever before and the Euro 2016 qualifiers come to a conclusion with all the Home Nations in with a shot at getting to France next summer.”
Global football icon Thierry Henry added: “I can’t wait for the Premier League season to begin so we can get back into the studio on Sky Sports. Starting at Chelsea everyone will be looking at them to see if they can retain their title, and on that opening weekend we also have Man City and Arsenal from last season’s top three and they will want to show they can put up a challenge.
“It’s also important that we tell the whole story of the Premier League, all 20 clubs in the first two months so we can understand each team, how they start the season will be crucial and Sky Sports will be there to show it.”
Chelsea v Swansea City Sat 8 Aug 5.30pm
Arsenal v West Ham United Sun 9 Aug 1.30pm
Stoke City v Liverpool Sun 9 Aug 4pm
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City Mon 10 Aug 8pm
Aston Villa v Manchester United Fri 14 Aug 7.45pm
Crystal Palace v Arsenal Sun 16 Aug 1.30pm
Manchester City v Chelsea Sun 16 Aug 4pm
Liverpool v Bournemouth Mon 17 Aug 8pm
West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea Sun 23 Aug 1.30pm
Everton v Manchester City Sun 23 Aug 4pm
Arsenal v Liverpool Mon 24 Aug 8pm
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton Sat 29 Aug 5.30pm
Southampton v Norwich City Sun 30 Aug 1.30pm
Swansea City v Manchester United Sun 30 Aug 4pm
Manchester United v Liverpool Sat 12 Sep 5.30pm
Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur Sun 13 Sep 1.30pm
Leicester City v Aston Villa Sun 13 Sep 4pm
West Ham United v Newcastle United Mon 14 Sep 8pm
Manchester City v West Ham United Sat 19 Sep 5.30pm
Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace Sun 20 Sep 1.30pm
Southampton v Manchester United Sun 20 Sep 4pm
Newcastle United v Chelsea Sat 26 Sep 5.30pm
Watford v Crystal Palace Sun 27 Sep 4pm
West Bromwich Albion v Everton Mon 28 Sep 8pm
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