US soccer fans are set for an exciting change to their consumption of the EFL after Sky Sports renewed their deal.

A blockbuster new domestic broadcast deal between the English Football League and Sky Sports was announced on Monday. While the agreement is specific to the UK market, it will undoubtedly have ripple effects across the pond.

Let’s start with the big news itself. EFL clubs have unanimously approved a record-breaking five-year rights agreement with Sky Sports.

It’s worth a staggering £895 million in guaranteed payments, plus an additional £40 million in marketing benefits.

This deal represents a 50% increase over the previous agreement. It will result in more than 1,000 matches being broadcast each season. This includes the Sky Bet Championship, League One, League Two, Carabao Cup, and EFL Trophy. That’s an unprecedented number for any club football broadcasting rights deal.

iFollow is likely to remain in the US

For fans of EFL teams in the US, one of the intriguing aspects is the fate of iFollow’s streaming service.

The new deal will effectively replace iFollow and other domestic streaming options like WanderersTV within the UK from 2024/25 onwards. However, EFL has confirmed that international streaming services will remain in place.

This means American fans should still be able to watch their beloved clubs through the familiar iFollow platform.

A unique situation to keep an eye on is that of Wrexham AFC. The Welsh club are co-owned by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

Their incredible story has been documented in the hit TV series “Welcome to Wrexham,” which has helped the club cultivate a following stateside.

With Wrexham recently earning promotion to the EFL’s League Two and the likelihood of another promotion as early as today, the new broadcasting deal could present some intriguing opportunities to further expand their US fanbase.

ESPN has been a good home to EFL

Of course, American fans have been fortunate to have ESPN as the primary EFL broadcast partner in recent years.

ESPN has done an excellent job bringing the drama of the Championship, Carabao Cup, and FA Cup to US viewers. We’ve also enjoyed decent coverage of League One and League Two matches, especially during the high-stakes promotion playoffs.

However, exactly how the EFL coverage will look in the US after this season remains unclear.

The Carabao Cup is also part of the deal, with ESPN having showcased those matches in the United States
The Carabao Cup is also part of the deal, with ESPN having showcased those matches in the United States

The Carabao Cup is also part of the deal, with ESPN having showcased those matches in the United States

The league has signed a unique deal with Relevent Sports, an agency that holds UEFA’s TV rights in the Americas. This will handle all broadcast and betting rights for the EFL throughout North, Central, and South America.

It’s uncertain which US broadcaster(s) Relevent will ultimately partner with to air the matches from 2024/25 through 2028/29.

While ESPN has established itself as the home of the EFL in America, the potential for another network to acquire rights could shake things up.

Fans may need to adjust to a new broadcast partner, commentary teams, and overall viewing experience. However, the increased number of matches on offer through the Sky Sports deal should provide more opportunities for robust coverage, no matter where the rights end up.

EFL has become more than niche viewing in the US

The remarkable popularity of English club soccer in the United States shows no signs of slowing down.

The Championship has steadily grown its following as a highly competitive second-tier league featuring massive clubs with rich histories and rabidly passionate fan bases.

The Carabao Cup and EFL Trophy have provided midweek drama and showcase opportunities for rising young talent. Even League One and League Two have carved out dedicated niches among supporters seeking an authentic, gritty English football experience at levels below the Premier League’s glitz and glamour.

As the EFL embarks on this new era of unprecedented domestic TV exposure and revenue, American fans will be watching closely to see how the ripples impact their ability to follow their favorite clubs from across the pond.

While changes are likely on the horizon, the incredible demand for EFL action in the US market should ensure we don’t miss a beat in the nonstop drama of England’s football pyramid from the Championship on down.

Photo credits: IMAGO / Pro Sports Images : IMAGO / PA Images.