Norwich City fans facing pub television black-out

Norwich fans are likely to face a widespread television blackout of today's big match as publicans try to investigate why the plug has been pulled.

As they account for a large majority of pubs which have invested in foreign satellite decoders to watch Canaries' fixtures, it is set to lead to a frantic rush by fans to find a place still showing the match.

After last Saturday's away match against Manchester City was blacked out, rumours spread that the Premier League had taken legal action to block transmission.

However, the Evening News understands this is not the case. It is believed that ViaSat has taken the decision to no longer show live matches at 3pm, fixtures at all other times being unaffected.

Dave Fenner, sales manager of SAS UK Installations, based on the Sweetbriar Road industrial estate, in Norwich, has been advising pubs where he has installed ViaSat systems not to advertise the match today.

He said: 'I think there will be another blackout but no one knows quite what is going on; I have suggested publicans try it at 3pm and search other channels as well.'

Given that millions of ViaSat systems had been sold in the UK, he could only think the company had been threatened with legal action if they continued to show 3pm matches.

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Roger Cawdron, landlord of the Ribs of Beef, in Wensum Street, said he would not be taking the chance of advertising the match.

He said: 'We had a lot of people in here last Saturday and they were disgusted by the 3pm blackout whatever was behind it.'

Mr Cawdron is anxious because he has signed up for two years of broadcasts with ViaSat.

'The reason I chose them was that I am purely interested in Norwich City games,' he said.