Manchester United will begin the Premier League season on Monday 16 August after Sky TV moved the club’s fixture with Newcastle United. The opening game takes place at 8pm and is the first in the return of Monday night football on Sky. Eight United games have been moved by Sky or ESPN for TV coverage prior to Christmas.
United’s fixture with Fulham at Craven Cottage will now take place at 4pm on Sunday 22 August, Everton away has been shifted to 1.30pm on 12 September and Liverpool at home a week later also takes place at lunchtime. The first derby of the season is set for an 8pm kick-off at Eastlands on Wednesday 10 November.
Never popular with United supporters, Sir Alex Ferguson will be grateful that the 8pm Monday night game is at least at home, although that’s of little comfort to Newcastle supporters who face a four hour trip home after the fixture.
Sky has rights to five out of six football packs auctioned by the Premier League under the new TV contract, with ESPN showing the remaining televised fixtures.
The US-based network has moved United’s fixtures with West Ham United to Saturday 28 August, Bolton Wanderers to 25 September and Tottenham Hotspur to Saturday 30 October, with all games kicking off at 5:30pm.
Fixtures for United’s post-Christmas fixtures will be announced later in the season.