3 to air Premiership highlights before Match of the Day

LONDON - Mobile phone firm 3 is laying down a challenge to the BBC's Premiership highlights show 'Match of the Day' by offering customers the chance to download the day's top goals on their phones from 5:15pm.

Every Saturday, 3 customers will be able to download video highlights of the best of the action from every Barclays Premiership match from 5:15pm, before they are shown on 'Match of the Day'.

On all other match days in the Barclays Premiership and Uefa Champions League, highlights will be available just five minutes after the final whistle as fans argue it out in the pub.

The deal is part of Hutchison-owned 3's new video highlights package, which the 3G phone firm hopes will transform Saturdays for football fans, who now no longer need to wait for hours to see the day's highlights.

Gareth Jones, chief operating officer of 3, said: "Wherever fans are on Saturday afternoon, they will be able to see the goals at 5.15pm -- faster than they've been able to before.

"We are delighted that our customers won't have to wait until 10.30pm to see the goals on TV. The new highlights package demonstrates our commitment to offering our customers the best mobile sports service in the UK."

3 customers can get unlimited access to match highlights for just £5 a month with the 3 Sports Add-on. Alternatively, customers can download individual game highlights at a cost of 50p a game.

The BBC paid £105m for a package of football highlights last year, which sees the 'Match of the Day' back on screens on Saturday nights.

The BBC won the package after a three-year gap when ITV held the Premiership TV highlights. BSkyB paid more than £1bn for its new three-year agreement to show Premier League games.

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