Christmas sport on TV: what's on and when over the holiday
While the rest of us put our feet up, footballers, cricketers and other athletes have to keep going
CHRISTMAS is not only a time for relaxing with loved ones, it is also a time for catching up with sport on TV. Here's our guide to what's on over the next few days.
FOOTBALL: When it comes to Christmas sporting events, English football has it covered: there are ten Premier League and three Championship games to sit back and enjoy over the festive period.
Sky and BT Sport will also be showing Scottish matches and Australian A-League games are available on BT Sport.
Here are the Premier League fixtures being shown:
Boxing Day: Hull City v Man Utd, 12.45pm, Sky; West Ham v Arsenal, 3pm, BT Sport; Man City v Liverpool, 5.30pm, BT Sport.
28 December: West Ham v West Brom, 12.45pm, Sky; Cardiff City v Sunderland, 5.30pm, Sky.
29 December: Newcastle United v Arsenal, 1.30pm, Sky; Chelsea v Liverpool, 4pm.
New Year's Day: Swansea City v Man City, 12.45pm, Sky; Southampton v Chelsea, 3pm, BT Sport; Man Utd v Tottenham, 5.30pm, BT Sport.
There will be Premier League highlights on Match of the Day on Boxing Day, 28 and 29 December and New Year's Day.
CRICKET: If you can bear the agony and humiliation, coverage of the fourth Ashes Test at Melbourne starts late on Christmas Day on Sky Sports 2. With the Ashes gone, England's cricketers are battling to prevent a 5-0 whitewash, but their chances don't look good. Highlights, such as they are, will be shown on Pick TV each evening.
There will be more Australians having fun on the cricket pitch on Sky Sports 3, which is showing Big Bash Twenty20 games every day between Christmas and New Year. They start at 7am, 8am or 8.30am
If you can't bear watching England Sky is also televising the second Test between South Africa and India from 8am on Boxing Day.
RUGBY: There is plenty of rugby action on offer over the Christmas period, with Rabodirect Pro12 and Aviva Premiership games between Christmas and the New Year. On Boxing Day the Newport Gwent Dragons v Cardiff Blues game will be live on the BBC.
BT Sport will televise the clash between Newcastle Falcons and London Wasps on 27 December, Harlequins v Exter Chiefs a day later and on Sunday London Irish v Gloucester.
RACING: Horses don't celebrate Christmas, so there's no reason to give them any time off - although it's unclear what the jockeys think of the situation. Nevertheless they will be out in force every day from Boxing Day to New Year.
There will be races from around the country shown on Channel 4, At The Races and Racing UK throughout the festive period. The big race is the George VI Chase at 3.10pm on Boxing Day at Kempton, which will be shown on Channel 4.
AMERICAN FOOTBALL: The stars of the NFL may not have quite the same dedication to the cause as the humble British footballer, but they are required to turn out once over the Christmas period. The final round of regular season games takes place on Sunday 29 December, with several play-off places still to be decided.
At 6pm the Baltimore Ravens take on the Cincinnati Bengals, who have already wrapped up the AFC North title, on Sky.
The late game sees the Green Bay Packers at the Chicago Bears, also on Sky.
And at 1.30am on 30 December Channel 4 will screen game between Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.
DARTS: Then, of course, there is that Christmas staple - darts. Although the World Darts Championship, which resumes on 27 December, will be like Christmas lunch without the turkey now that Phil 'The Power' Taylor has been knocked out. Still, you can follow the action on Sky. ·