Why Cristiano Ronaldo’s Man Utd debut vs Newcastle won’t be on TV in the UK

Ronaldo 'happy to be back home' at Man Utd

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Cristiano Ronaldo will be stepping out onto the Old Trafford turf once again this weekend, when Manchester United host Newcastle United in the Premier League. However, the match will not be broadcast live across the country, due to the UK’s ‘3pm blackout’ rule.

Ronaldo re-signed for United in a dramatic turn of events towards the end of the transfer window.

The former Juventus striker was expected to sign for Manchester City, but instead appeared across town, at Old Trafford.

United confirmed the transfer a week later, and it was later revealed that Ronaldo would be handed the No 7 shirt.

Ronaldo would only have time for a few training sessions with his new teammates before the Newcastle match – but he’s still expected to play a part in the match.

Why won’t Man Utd vs Newcastle Utd be on TV?

Unfortunately for fans that can’t attend the match, they’ll have to wait to see their hero back in a red shirt.

The UK’s two TV broadcasters, Sky Sports and BT Sport, selected fixtures for television weeks ago.

United’s match against Newcastle wasn’t selected, meaning the fixture will be part of the Saturday 3pm blackout.

The 3pm blackout is a tradition that’s been running for more than 40 years.

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Any match that’s taking place between 2.45pm and 5.15pm in the UK is barred from broadcasting – regardless of the league.

The rule was initially introduced to try and encourage fans to head to stadiums.

It was later adopted for all football broadcasts – be it domestic, or even foreign league matches.

However, the exception to the rule came last season, when matches were broadcast across the entire weekend.

Seeing as fans weren’t allowed in stadiums during Project Restart, there as an agreement to allow broadcasters to show matches during the 3pm blackout.

It gave fans the chance to watch highlights of all matches, as they happened live.

Radio broadcasters are exempt from the rule, meaning you can still listen to Man United vs Newcastle on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Coverage of the match will start at 3pm, with build-up and analysis from 12pm.

Ronaldo returns to United after a 12 year absence, agreeing a two-year deal with the option for a third.

After the deal was confirmed, Ronaldo said: “Manchester United is a club that has always had a special place in my heart, and I have been overwhelmed by all the messages I have received since the announcement on Friday.

“I cannot wait to play at Old Trafford in front of a full stadium and see all the fans again.

“I’m looking forward to joining up with the team after the international games, and I hope we have a very successful season ahead.”

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