The EFL and its clubs have agreed a £935m domestic rights deal with Sky Sports over a five-year period which will see over 1,000 matches broadcasted each season.
Ending DAZN’s hopes of buying the rights to show every EFL match, this is a record number of games for any club football agreement, with the arrangement being made up of guaranteed payments of £895m and £40m in marketing benefits.
In its bid to remove the UK’s 3pm blackout last month, DAZN had stated that it believes the EFL is ‘under-exposed’ as a product and there is a market to show every match live in the UK and worldwide.
Now, specifically 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 both TV and mobile phones.
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.
EFL Chief Executive, Trevor Birch, stated: “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.
“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.”
Birch also praised how for decades, Sky Sports has been a fantastic broadcast partner for both the EFL and English football, and has helped football grow through its sustained support’.
The Executive continued: “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 fan base 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.”
From the 2024/25 season onward, this deal 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 through iFollow and club streaming services.
The league has also asserted that it will be ‘investing significantly’ in production infrastructure to enhance the viewing experience.
Sky Sports Managing Director, Jonathan Licht, concluded: “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.”