BBC Sport NI has agreed a contract with the Irish FA and the NI Football League to live-stream 50 matches over the course of the upcoming Danske Bank Premiership season.

The games will be streamed on the BBC Sport Northern Ireland website and on BBC iPlayer.

It will be the first time that Danske Bank Premiership fixtures have been streamed live and will mean that games will be available to fans in Northern Ireland unable to go to matches due to the ongoing restrictions caused by the COVID19 pandemic.

BBC Northern Ireland will also show 12 live matches from the Danske Bank Premiership and Irish Cup on television as well as live TV coverage of the 2021 Irish Cup Final.

Glenavon’s opening league game against Portadown will be one of the first to be shown live and, as a consequence, kick-off has been moved to 5.30pm on Saturday, October 17.

In addition, BBC Sport NI will have live radio commentary on Saturday afternoons from 2pm – 6pm on Sportsound as well as producing the Danske Bank Premiership highlights programme for BBC iPlayer.

With the varied football schedule and the challenges of COVID19, BBC Sport NI will pause production of Final Score for this season.

Executive Editor of BBC Sport NI, Neil Brittain, said: “We know that it is going to be a challenging season for clubs as well as fans, so we felt it was important that we collaborated with the Irish FA, NIFL and the clubs to offer a different service this year.

“The result is that with 12 matches on BBC TV and 50 matches live-streamed on the BBC Sport NI website we will be bringing more live football to football fans than ever before.

“We always want to make the most of what we can do for our audiences and we hope that we have achieved a positive result for everyone involved.”

Games chosen for live coverage in October:

  • Friday October 16 – Coleraine v Ballymena United – 7.45pm
  • Saturday October 17 – Glenavon v Portadown – 5.30pm
  • Friday October 23 – Crusaders v Cliftonville – 7.45pm
  • Saturday October 24 – Ballymena United v Linfield – 5.30pm
  • Friday October 30 – Linfield v Crusaders – 7.45pm