Soccer fans can look forward to improved USA EFL broadcasts starting in the 2024/25 season. The EFL (English Football League) has extended its partnership with global sports media company IMG through the 2028/29 campaign. This agreement aims to elevate production values across EFL competitions.

The renewal comes after the EFL’s record domestic TV rights deal with Sky Sports. That deal is worth nearly $1.2 billion over five years. While focused on UK coverage, that agreement will fundamentally change the international broadcasts of EFL matches. For example, the vastly lucrative American market will benefit greatly.

The broadcast deal and enhanced coverage

For the past several years, ESPN+ has been the primary home for EFL action stateside. It has done an admirable job showcasing marquee matches from the Championship, League One, League Two, EFL Cup, and playoff tournaments. However, the exact future of EFL rights in the US beyond 2023/24 remains uncertain. The EFL awarded international rights to Relevent Sports. Relevent will help broker a deal between the EFL and an American broadcaster.

Regardless of which US network or streaming platform ultimately lands the EFL package from 2024/25 onward, fans should notice a stark upgrade in production quality and overall viewing experience. This is thanks to the league’s deepened partnership with the broadcast experts at IMG.

A major enhancement will be more robust multi-camera coverage deployed at EFL matches. In the second-tier Championship, all games will now have a minimum of six camera angles. The previous standard was four cameras. Matches in League One will go from one to four cameras. Meanwhile, League Two fixtures rise from one to two cameras. Later rounds of the EFL Cup will increase from two to a minimum four-camera setup.

“The major change fans will see is increased camera setups across every division,” stated Ben Wright, EFL Chief Commercial Officer. “It was imperative that our production partner had the experience and capability to elevate our broadcast output across our competitions, and IMG could offer that world-class service level.”

More comprehensive USA EFL broadcasts lead to bolstered infrastructure, connectivity

In addition to expanded camera coverage, IMG will produce more comprehensive EFL broadcasts packed with new features to enhance the viewer experience.

All matches produced by IMG will integrate enriched in-game graphics packages along with more processed output elements like recaps, highlight reels from the live match, and clips from other concurrent games.

Post-match, IMG will compile more robust highlight packages for distribution to the EFL’s media partners, including international rights holders like Relevent Sports.

“Outside of Sky Sports’ main TV selections, all broadcasts will feature enriched in-game graphics and improved features to deliver a premium experience for viewers at home and abroad,” explained Barney Francis, IMG’s EVP of Studios.

To ensure reliable delivery of this influx of high-quality content, IMG and the EFL are working with NEP Connect to upgrade bandwidth capacity and fortify the infrastructure connecting stadiums to IMG’s remote production hub at Stockley Park in London.

From Stockley Park’s dedicated EFL production center, IMG will produce 866 EFL matches per season for Sky’s new streaming platform, alongside 832 matches annually for international distribution by Relevent and Pitch. The remaining Sky linear broadcasts will be produced in-house.

This remote production model has been in place for the past four years during IMG’s initial partnership with the EFL. That spans over 500,000 minutes of live content.

“We’ve built a groundbreaking remote production workflow for the EFL that is unrivaled in football globally,” said Francis. “We are thrilled to take the viewing experience up another level with upscaled production, enhanced coverage, and continued innovation.”

USA fans benefit from new EFL broadcasts

These changes to EFL broadcasts shape how American fans consume EFL action beginning in 2024/25. The increased production capabilities stemming from this new partnership ensure a substantially better product. Whichever broadcaster lands the rights will benefit from the initiatives across the pond.

The EFL has grown considerably in popularity stateside in recent years. The Championship offers intense competition and historic clubs. League One and League Two provide a beloved, grittier flavor of English soccer outcasts often crave.

Our Pick:

Includes: Bundesliga, LaLiga, FA Cup, & More

Sign Up

With more cameras, engaging graphics, enhanced schedules, and infrastructure to safeguard broadcasts, US viewers can soak up the intense drama and rich traditions of England’s storied football pyramid with greater clarity and polish.

As the domestic-focused Sky Sports deal demonstrated, the EFL recognizes the importance of enhancing the match-viewing experience in today’s market. Through this partnership with IMG, the concentrated effort extends across the Atlantic to captivate EFL’s rabid American fan base. Comprehensive, top-quality USA EFL broadcasts start from the first kick of the season in August 2024.