Hibs and Hearts Edinburgh derby kick-off time moved as hosts make PPV call
Next month’s Edinburgh derby between Hibs and Hearts at Easter Road has been brought forward – but not so the match can be shown on Sky Sports.
Instead, the game will be available as a pay-per-view event for supporters. The SPFL recently confirmed that two cinch Premiership fixtures would be shown live on Sky Sports the same weekend, with Aberdeen’s trip to Ross County fixed for a 7.45pm kick-off on Friday April 14 and Kilmarnock’s home game with Celtic also broadcast live, with a 12noon kick-off on Sunday April 16.
Hibs and Hearts were due to meet at 3pm on Saturday April 15 but the kick-off has been brought forward to 12.30pm. Any fixture not chosen by Sky as one of its featured games is eligible for broadcast but cannot be shown at 3pm on a Saturday. Scotland and England both impose a blackout on televised football matches being screened when the majority of fixtures are being played in a bid to protect attendances, so the derby will have a lunchtime start instead.
Clubs in Scotland were given the green light to make up to five games per season available as PPV options and so far Hibs have used two of their allocation, showing October’s 2-1 defeat by St Johnstone live on HibsTV, and last week’s 4-1 defeat by Rangers as well.
Hibs and Hearts have met three times so far this season, twice in the league and once in the Scottish Cup, with Hearts prevailing on two of the three occasions. Only an injury-time equaliser from Martin Boyle on his second debut for the Easter Road side prevented it from being a clean sweep for the Jambos, who recorded back-to-back 3-0 victories in January; one at Tynecastle in the New Year’s game and again in Leith in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.
Should Hibs finish in the top six when the Premiership splits following their trip to St Johnstone on Saturday April 22, they will face a fifth meeting with Hearts. Before the split they travel to Celtic and Dundee United as well as McDiarmid Park, and have a home game with Motherwell in addition to the derby.
Hibs would be left with two PPV opportunities for post-split games, if they wanted to use up their quota for the season.