Relevent Sports, a media agency based in New York City, is lining up the EFL media rights in North America. The current rights deal for the EFL expires at the end of the 2023/24 season. Pitch International brokered the previous deal that sent the rights in the United States to ESPN. That includes the rights to the Championship, League One, League Two, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy.

Relevent has been instrumental in creating deals with international sports competitions and clubs in the United States. While this started with the International Champions Cup, Relevent played a role with LaLiga, UEFA club competitions and the Premier League’s recent summer tour. Now, according to Sport Business, Relevent will broker the rights deals for the EFL in North America.

However, this impending media rights deal goes beyond just finding a TV or streaming partner for the EFL. Part of the upcoming agreement with Relevent is a commitment to develop the EFL’s brand and distribute other forms of content. The aforementioned work with LaLiga could set a precedent. Relevent entered a joint venture with the Spanish top flight to create LaLiga North America. That propagated the league with different avenues, including an academy in South Florida. Also, Relevent helped LaLiga create shows that are produced in Mexico that are available in both English and Spanish for North American audiences.

The future of the EFL and its popularity in the United States may go down a similar route. Granted, nothing is secure, nor are Relevent and the EFL in those stages yet. Still, Relevent wants to enter talks with the league to include both the North and South American markets.

EFL clubs must approve Relevent media rights deal

Before Relevent can begin to work with the EFL on this media rights deal, the clubs across the EFL must sign off on the deal. In all likelihood, this should not be a problem. Not only does Relevent have ample experience working with media rights in the North American market. Many clubs across the EFL have American owners. For example, six teams in the Championship sides have American or US-based owners. Also, Wrexham is part of this deal, and Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have worked well to grow the league’s image in the United States and globally.

There is no indication yet if this means the home for the Championship, League One, League Two and EFL Cup will change. Pitch International, which will still have the international media rights to the EFL, set up the deal with ESPN for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons.

If and when the deal with Relevant Sports is finalized, the agency will find the best broadcast deal for the EFL in the United States.

The future of media rights deals

Also, this is the last media rights deal that the EFL organizes without the involvement of the Premier League. Starting in 2028/29, the two will collectively sell overseas broadcasting rights. That has major benefits for the EFL, as lower divisions would receive 14.75% of the net media revenue. Therefore, the solidarity payments from the Premier League to the EFL reach over $326 million per season. In other words, it allows the EFL to benefit from the Premier League’s popularity. The English top flight pulls in more broadcast revenue than any other league in the world.