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EFL agrees new broadcast deal with Sky Sports

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

The English Football League (EFL) announced today that it has reached a new five-year agreement with Sky Sports to broadcast its competitions, worth £600m.

£600m is a 36% year-on-year increase on the current deal and gives Sky Sports exclusive rights to all EFL divisions, the League Cup, Checkatrade Trophy and play-off finals.

In a first for English football, EFL clubs will be able to show their own matches via online streams outside of the Saturday 3pm blackout and Sky Sports will be making all midweek Championship fixtures available for selection for TV viewers.

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “In agreeing a deal over five seasons, it delivers a guaranteed increase in the level of income distributed to EFL Clubs from 2019/20 and long-term financial certainty was an absolute priority throughout this process.

“The new opportunity for EFL Clubs to live-stream their matches through a direct to consumer service in the UK is a revolutionary and exciting step forward for football broadcasting rights in the UK and we will monitor its progress closely to determine how this model can be considered for future EFL rights cycles.”

Already questions are being asked about how the EFL and clubs will redistribute the money, and what they will be doing to protect match-going fans and live attendances.

FSF associate members Beesotted Brentford podcast commented: “This will be interesting to now see next moves in the FSF campaign to lower ticket prices in EFL. Standard response: we can’t. No TV money.”

In 2015, the FSF launched the Share TV Wealth campaign after the Premier League announced a significant increase in the size of its new TV deal calling on the clubs to commit to a price cap fo away tickets.

Thanks to Ross Strachan for the Image used in this article. Reproduced here under Creative Commons license.

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