EFL clubs vote to accept £935m deal to show over ONE THOUSAND matches

EFL clubs unanimously vote to accept £935m deal to broadcast over ONE THOUSAND matches a season on Sky Sports while keeping the Saturday blackout in place in groundbreaking new agreement

  • The five-year deal will begin in 2024/25 and is made up of guaranteed payments
  • 1,059 matches will be shown live on either a Sky channel or streaming platform
  • It will replace the iFollow service that has been used over the last few years 

EFL clubs have unanimously voted to accept a new £935million deal with Sky Sports which will see more than 1,000 matches a season being broadcast, but which keeps the Saturday blackout in place.

The five-year deal, made up of guaranteed payments of £895m and £40m in marketing rights, will begin in 2024-25 and run to the end of the 2028-29 season.

It represents a 50 per cent increase on the league’s current deal with Sky which expires at the end of next season.

Altogether 1,059 league, EFL Cup and EFL Trophy matches will be shown live either on a Sky main channel or via a Sky streaming platform, replacing the iFollow service for domestic viewers.

Streaming platform DAZN had been keen to acquire the rights to screen all EFL matches and bring an end to the Saturday blackout period between 2.45pm and 5.15pm.

EFL clubs have agreed to a new streaming agreement with Sky Sports worth £935million

A total of 1,059 matches will be shown live either on a Sky main channel or alternative streaming platform

The 3pm Saturday blackout will stay in place with the deal, with televised kick-offs set for 12:30pm on Saturdays

The blackout stays in place in the Sky deal, but more matches are available to stream, with six games across the Championship, League One and League Two now set to kick off at 12.30pm each Saturday.

The deal means 26 out of 36 matches will still kick off at Saturday 3pm – seven Championship matches plus 19 across Leagues One and Two.

The EFL acknowledges the changes in kick-off times can make planning difficult for matchday fans, and has committed to placing all live matches up to the FA Cup third round before the start of each season.

It is understood that based on the EFL’s distribution formula, Championship clubs will earn 46 per cent more in guaranteed broadcast income and clubs in Leagues One and Two will be 25 per cent better off.

EFL had announced Sky as its preferred bidder in early April, following the issue of invitations to tender earlier in the year.

Mail Sport revealed last October that the EFL were inviting offers to televise all of their 1656 matches each season in a bold proposal that would require ending the 3pm Saturday blackout, which has been in place since the 1960s.

Newly-promoted Wrexham will likely be heavily involved in the broadcasts should they avoid relegation next season

DAZN were keen to enter negotiations to broadcast the division but Sky were again the preferred bidder

That was a proposal streaming service DAZN were particularly keen on – and yet the EFL had entered ‘exclusive’ month-long talks with Sky Sports at the start of April, having chosen them ahead of interest from DAZN, Viaplay and BT Sport.  

Sky currently hold the rights to the EFL’s matches but that five-year deal is due to expire at the end of the 2023-24 season.

Under the terms of Sky’s current £119million-a-year deal, the broadcaster shows 138 live EFL games each season.

The EFL have been convinced that there is a greater demand to show more matches live and that theory will now be put to the test with the new deal.

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