Sky Sports and the EFL have negotiated a live broadcasting deal, believed to be worth £600m, to extend for a further 5 years from the 2019/20 season.
One of the most dramatic changes in the new deal is the rights for clubs in the EFL to broadcast their games using the iFollow, or any preferred, streaming services.
Any game that falls outside of the blocked hours, 2:45pm – 5:15pm on a Saturday, will be available to stream. This follows the decision by clubs, starting this season, to stream all matches to overseas fans, irrespective of kick off times.
The deal will see Sky Sports given exclusive broadcasting rights to Sky Bet EFL games, Carabao Cup, Checkatrade Trophy and the Sky Bet Play-Offs.
According to an article published by the EFL website, the deal is designed to ‘maximise both the financial return and exposure for all 72 member Clubs, the EFL and its competitions’.
Terms of the agreement mean that Sky must broadcast a minimum of 20 Sky Bet League One and Two games, and a maximum of 150 matches from across all EFL competitions.
Sky are expected to broadcast all 15 of the Sky Bet EFL Play-Off matches, along with 15 Carabao Cup matches, including the final, as well as the semi final and final of the Checkatrade Trophy.
Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of the EFL, described the deal as a “revolutionary and exciting step forward for football broadcasting rights in the UK”.
The deal sees an increase in value of 36% on the current deal. Harvey continued: “In agreeing a deal over five seasons, it delivers a guaranteed increase in the level of income distributed to EFL Clubs from 2019/20.”
Sky Sports’ Managing Director, Barney Francis, added: “With a new dedicated football channel, newly enhanced digital platforms, adding more games means Sky Sports is getting even better for football fans.”
Whilst the EFL seem confident with the new deal, only time will tell how live streaming week night games will affect attendances.
On top of this, the new deal will run until May 2024. If this summer has taught us anything, it is that the beautiful game is changing faster than ever. Will this agreement begin a new era for the EFL, or have they committed their future too soon?