The English Football League (EFL) has secured a broadcast distribution deal in the United States. The deal with Relevent Sports, the New York-based agency best known for running LaLiga North America and the International Champion Cup, will bring in at least $56 million for the English Football League.

However, that potential could grow further. In other words, Relevent paid the EFL $56 million over the next four years for the opportunity to sell the rights. Now, as the agency works to sell those rights to broadcasters in the United States, it can sell the rights to TV or streaming broadcasters for far more than $56 million. If it does so, Relevent will provide the EFL with 80% of the additional revenue earned.

Currently, the rights deal in the United States for the EFL runs via ESPN through the end of this season. The broadcaster regularly puts games from the Championship on ESPN+, with select games from League One and League Two also available on the platform.

Importantly, this rights deal that runs from 2024/25 through 2027/28 may include all EFL fixtures. That means each game in the Championship, League One, League Two, Carabao Cup and promotion playoff games are available to broadcasters. In the past, ESPN has not put every single game on ESPN+. Yet, it remains an option, and it may drive up the fees Relevent is looking for.

Expanding the EFL in the Americas

EFL Chief Executive Trevor Birch says the international broadcast deals provide revenue sustainability.

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

Relevent Sports has worked with broadcast rights deals for LaLiga and the UEFA club competitions in the United States. Therefore, it has an understanding of the American streaming and broadcast market.

EFL rights deal in US joins international agreement

The EFL also cashed in on rights deals in other spots around the globe. A deal with Pitch, another media agency, pocketed the EFL at least $132 million for the four-year rights cycle. Much like the deal with Relevent, that figure could go up depending on how Pitch sells the rights to international broadcasters. Whereas Relevent has North, Central and South America covered, Pitch is making rights deals with Europe outside of the United Kingdom, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Therefore, the EFL is earning at least $188 million for the four-year cycle that starts in 2024/25. That figure is more than 40% more than the international rights brought in from the last cycle. Moreover, the English Football League brought in massive sums for its domestic deal. The EFL earned just shy of $1.2 billion for the five-year cycle running from 2024/25 through 2028/29. Sky Sports will have over 1,000 games available, which is more than ever for the leagues.

Wrexham key to new EFL deal

World Soccer Talk reported in January that Wrexham Director of Football Shaun Harvey would like some EFL games available on free-to-air television.

“I’m absolutely fascinated to see the response [from broadcasters],” Harvey told World Soccer Talk. “And if that leads to a move away from iFollow to any form of central distribution or even specific club distribution, whether that’s paid-for or free-to-air, I’m generally comfortable with wherever we end up as long as everybody is able to access Wrexham games wherever they are in the world.

“Whilst that could have a significant financial negative impact on our P&L (profit and loss statement), actually as long as it’s readily available and easily accessible, we’d probably take our chance that we would generate more by creating a bigger fan base than we would on revenue from individual subscribers.”