June 8 – The English Football League has agreed a £10 million rebate with its domestic broadcast partner Sky, in a revamped TV deal that will see all 108 remaining matches broadcast live across linear and digital platforms.
Sky will air 30 of the remaining fixtures as well as the crucial divisional play offs. The second-tier league is scheduled to restart June 20.
Each of the Championship’s 24 clubs will also have the rights to stream their matches on their official websites. Currently clubs stream fixtures on the EFL’s iFollow streaming platform. Club season ticket holders will be given free access to iFollow or the club’s own over-the-top (OTT) streaming service.
Clubs will also be able to choose who else has access to the streaming services free of charge, and have the ability to overlay a pay function over the live match broadcasts.
EFL chairman Rick Parry said: “There is no question that Covid-19 has detrimentally affected all industries and, whilst we have only ever wanted to return when it is safe to do, we have always understood that when we did, we had to balance the requirements of our broadcast partners with the unique and challenging financial circumstances that our clubs face.
“We are delighted to have reached such an agreeable and sensible arrangement that ensures the financial impact to Clubs is minimised, Sky Sports are able to get their football business back up with one of the most eagerly anticipated Championship run-ins in years and, importantly, fans get access to games during a period where guidelines prevent them from attending in person.”
In 2018 the EFL agreed a £595 million five-year deal with Sky. At one stage it was feared that the rebate the EFL would have to pay could have been as high as £42 million. The £10 million will be spread over the remaining three years of the Sky contract.
The Premier League have agreed a rebate with Sky of about £170 million that could almost double to £330 million if the season is not completed.
Sky Sports managing director, Rob Webster, said that schedules are still being worked out, bith that EFL games be played over six weekend time slots and five in midweek.
“They include 6pm and 8pm on Fridays, 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm on Saturdays, and midday on Sundays. In the week, matches will air at 5pm, 6pm, and 8pm on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays,” said Webster.
“This amendment will result in the last match of the regular season being on the midweek of 21st and 22nd July, with the Championship playoff final set to be held on either Sunday 2nd or Monday 3rd August.”
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