EFL clubs have unanimously approved a new domestic rights deal with broadcaster Sky Sports, worth £935m over a five-year period, with over 1,000 matches to be broadcast each season - a record number of games for any club football agreement.
Running from season 2024/25 to season 2028/29, the arrangement will be made up of guaranteed payments of £895m and £40m in marketing benefits. In total, 1,059 EFL matches are set to be broadcast exclusively across existing Sky Sports channels or live via a Sky Sports streaming destination available on TV and mobile devices.
Increased value and promotion
The new deal represents a 50% increase on the value of the current rights agreement and will see significantly enhanced exposure for all EFL clubs provided through on-air and digital support from Sky Sports to promote EFL competitions, clubs, and community initiatives.
Each season, Sky Sports will broadcast a minimum of:
328 Sky Bet Championship matches
248 Sky Bet League One matches
248 Sky Bet League Two matches
All 15 Play-Off matches
All 93 Carabao Cup matches
All 127 EFL Trophy matches
Each League weekend fixture round will see 10 live EFL fixtures shown. Five matches will be shown from the Sky Bet Championship and supporters of Sky Bet League One and League Two teams will now benefit from greater coverage than ever before with five of their games being broadcast live. For the first time ever, fans will be also able to watch every match from the Carabao Cup and EFL Trophy.
All opening, final day, and midweek fixtures in the Sky Bet EFL will be shown live, as will all games played on Bank Holidays including Easter, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day alongside the matches played in Sky Bet League One and Two during international breaks.
Increased notice for fans
With the substantial increase in the number of live matches, Sky Sports and the EFL will introduce a new commitment for clubs and fans which will provide longer notice periods on TV selections. The defined notice periods will enable clubs and fans to plan further in advance and this will include the placement of all live matches selected for broadcast for the period to FA Cup Third Round before the start of the season. Greater parity in the number of times that clubs are selected for TV coverage is also guaranteed.
Article 48 to remain
The new deal allows for ‘Article 48’, the blocked broadcast period between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on Saturday afternoons to remain, meaning that main broadcast fixtures will be scheduled for outside of this time. Final fixture slots will be confirmed at a later date.
From the 2024/25 season onward, this agreement makes more matches available to stream and will effectively replace the current Sky Sports EFL red button coverage and the EFL’s domestic streaming option provided via iFollow and club streaming services. Domestic streaming audio services will remain alongside existing audio-visual arrangements for international audiences via iFollow and club streaming services.
Enhanced production values and camera numbers
The EFL and Sky Sports will continue to work together to innovate, seeking opportunities to improve coverage and take viewers closer to the action, while the EFL will be investing significantly in production infrastructure to enhance the viewing experience. Sky Sports will have a minimum of eight cameras for each game broadcast on existing channels. For matches available to stream, Sky commentary will be provided and a minimum of four cameras will be used at Championship and League One matches, and a minimum of two cameras in League Two.
Chief executive of the EFL, Trevor Birch, said: “After completing an extensive tender and negotiation process, this is a landmark broadcast deal for EFL clubs, establishing the League as a premium partner with a world-renowned broadcaster in Sky Sports.
“The EFL is an iconic sports property and one of the biggest and best attended Leagues in European football. This increased investment and coverage from Sky Sports will showcase much more of our compelling match action to fans, while delivering record rights values as we seek to make our clubs sustainable at all levels.
“For decades, Sky Sports has been a fantastic broadcast partner for both the EFL and English football, helping our sport grow through its sustained support, so we are delighted to announce this innovative agreement that combines the strength of an established brand with a modern streaming service for the benefit of EFL clubs, fans and Sky Sports alike.
“With some 20 million attending Sky Bet EFL matches each season and significant interest in the League at home and abroad, we look forward to growing our collective fanbase further and we’d like to thank Sky Sports for its ongoing commitment to the clubs and the communities which this investment will directly support.”
Sky Sports managing director, Jonathan Licht said: “This is a ground-breaking deal for Sky and our long-standing partners, the EFL. We believe that fans of all 72 league clubs will benefit with increased coverage across all the leagues and competitions. With four times as many matches than we currently offer, we will capture even more of the excitement created by this unique league - and in a way that will be immediately accessible to millions of supporters.
“This is the biggest deal in football, in terms of the number of matches being broadcast and we look forward to working with the EFL and its 72 member clubs to give fans the most entertaining viewing experience.
“Between Sky and the league, we’re pleased to be able to make a commitment to fans that will ensure greater notice periods around the movement of matches for broadcast. There’ll also be greater parity in the number of times clubs are selected to be live on Sky Sports.
“The EFL stands alongside our key rightsholders we have partnered with for the rest of the decade, keeping Sky Sports as the number one destination for sports fans. We thank the EFL clubs and EFL board for their support and look forward to our future together.”