BLACKBURN Rovers’ attempts to give their supporters the chance to watch tonight's Carrow Road clash from Ewood Park have been rejected by Norwich City.
As part of a new broadcasting initiative by the Football League supporters have been offered the chance to watch coverage of their club playing away from home during midweek.
Following the installation of a fibre-optic network that will eventually link all club stadiums, matches can now be beamed back to grounds, live in HD, at a fraction of the previous cost.
As a result clubs in the Championship can now enter into agreements that will enable the away club to broadcast the game for the benefit of its own fans.
Leeds United have granted permission to Brighton & Hove Albion to beam back live coverage of tonight's Elland Road encounter to the AMEX.
Rovers hoped Norwich would allow them to do the same. However the Canaries declined the proposal.
Rovers director of communications Alan Myers said: “Obviously with the timing of the game on a week night and the distances involved, we would have wanted to help our fans by providing a beam back facility.
“Of course this would have been on a reciprocal basis for the return game at Ewood Park.
“However it is the home team’s prerogative to refuse and we respect Norwich City’s decision.”
The reverse fixture with the Canaries is scheduled to take place at Ewood on Tuesday, February 24.
Clubs will only be permitted to broadcast matches played at 3pm on Saturdays in exceptional circumstances as they fall within the ‘blocked hours’ under UEFA regulations.
The Football League’s chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “While our overriding priority will always be to get as many people as possible to attend matches in person, we also have to recognise that a huge number of fans are simply unable to make long journeys during midweek to watch their team.
“It will be up to the clubs involved in each match to determine whether it can be broadcast in this way and I would largely expect to see them entering into such arrangements in instances where they are playing a significant distance away from home during midweek or at matches where the away allocation is likely to sell out.”