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EFL agrees new international TV rights deals

EFL clubs have officially announced new international TV rights deals to broadcast EFL competitions globally.

In two four-year partnerships with Pitch International and Relevent Sports, the agreements signify a ‘landmark’ in guaranteed international rights fees for EFL clubs and.

With these new arrangements, the league will be represented by two different agencies covering global TV markets until the conclusion of the 2027/28 season.

Henri Kamerling, Managing Director of Football at Pitch, stated: “The EFL has always been a highly valued and integral part of our business, so we are delighted to be continuing our partnership with them for another four-year cycle.”

As part of the agreement, Pitch International will continue its longstanding relationship by distributing EFL rights in Europe, MENA and the rest of the world regions, maintaining a partnership that has spanned 15 years.

Furthermore, Pitch International will distribute 155 exclusive Sky Bet Championship matches, 38 League One and Two matches, all Play-Off matches, all Carabao Cup matches and three Bristol Street Motor Trophy matches, alongside a more comprehensive package of rights for betting platforms.    

Kamerling added: “We will continue to work with the league and its clubs to deliver the best broadcast coverage and explore innovative ways to grow the global fanbase for their competitions.”

However, the agreement marks the beginning of a fresh collaboration, with Relevent Sports stepping in as the distribution partner across North, Central and South America. 

Additionally, the North American-based sports media company will join forces with the EFL to enhance the visibility of the league’s clubs in this crucial region through a specialised marketing partnership.

“As the EFL’s popularity continues to grow globally, we are thrilled to be partnering on this landmark rights agreement for the distribution of international football in the Americas,” Boris Gartner, President of Relevent Sports, remarked. 

“We are confident that Relevent’s expertise in co-investing with our partners will deliver a fantastic viewing experience and will drive new fans to the EFL.”

In the Americas, Relevent Sports has the authority to market all Sky Bet EFL matches, along with all Play-Off matches, Carabao Cup matches and three Bristol Street Motors Trophy matches. Furthermore, Relevent will exclusively manage all betting rights within the US.

Gartner said: “We are passionate about football and this collaboration underscores our commitment to bringing one of Europe’s most watched and highest quality leagues to millions of sports fans throughout the Americas.”

Despite the addition of these two contracts, streaming will continue as normal. Under the new contracts, EFL clubs will retain the ability to offer international streaming services directly to fans abroad, particularly in cases where matches are not being broadcast exclusively. 

A  Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued for the international broadcast rights from the 2022/23 campaign onwards, which was made in 2021 just before Pitch International’s then contract was due to expire. 

Trevor Birch, Chief Executive of EFL, commented: “These new agreements represent not only guaranteed levels of revenue but also present the League and our 72 clubs with a fantastic opportunity to further establish the EFL as a premium football brand in markets across the world.”

The approval from the clubs follows the RFP and Invitation to Tender processes, which aimed to optimise available inventory, offer strategic value in key markets and deliver increased benefits to clubs across all three EFL divisions.

Birch concluded: “In Pitch and Relevent we have two partners with an in-depth understanding of the global TV rights markets and that knowledge, coupled with the enthusiasm of their teams, will hopefully ensure we achieve our objective of delivering value to clubs alongside taking EFL football to as wide an audience as possible outside the UK.”

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