The English Football League looks set to soon cash in on a new media rights deal.
Sportsmail is reporting that the league of professional soccer clubs in England and Wales will likely see a major boost in broadcasting rights. Sky Sports currently holds these rights in the United Kingdom from a contract worth about $142 million per season. However, the massive media giant will almost certainly have to double their bid to retain the television rights.
Media companies lining up to bid on EFL games
Sportsmail has also learned that the EFL is currently overwhelmed by various media companies expressing interest. The league opened negotiations with broadcasters in October and have already received plenty of feedback. DAZN, Viaplay, and BT Sport have all reportedly put their hats in the ring to battle Sky Sports for the right to broadcast live games.
It is expected that the next media rights agreement for EFL matches will exceed $240 million each year. This means that Sky Sports will possibly have to double their current deal to remain with the EFL. Sky has broadcasted live EFL games since 2002.
More matches will be available to watch in new deal
Sportsmail also reported last year that the EFL will make every match available to purchase with the new deal. This means that there will be an end to the Saturday afternoon blackouts in the U.K. Saturday games at 3PM local time have previously been blacked out for decades. All three divisions of the EFL, the playoffs, and the EFL Cup are all up for grabs in the new media rights negotiations.
Sky’s current deal only allows broadcasting of 138 games each season. This includes just two Championship games each weekend and very few League One and League Two fixtures.
Clubs in these divisions were told earlier in the week that the EFL is confident of reaching a five-year agreement for these media rights. This could potentially generate $1 billion for these teams thanks to a bidding war by the aforementioned television networks.
Here Stateside, ESPN currently holds rights to broadcast EFL Championship matches on their streaming service ESPN+. Matches not available on ESPN+ are available on iFollow, a subscription service available from each individual club.
Photo: IMAGO / PA Images
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