EFL and Sky Sports have agreed a new ‘innovative’ deal which will see Sky show 45 games live, with season ticket holders of Championship clubs given unprecedent access to watch remaining games online.
Under this arrangement, the Championship will resume on 20 June live on Sky who will broadcast 30 of the remaining 108 regular season games, plus exclusive coverage of the Play-Offs of all three EFL divisions.
Sky’s live picks will also be available to stream on iFollow or a club’s equivalent service for season ticket holders, although access will be determined by the club where the supporter holds a season ticket or in lieu of a refund or as part of wider club packages.
The 78 non televised games will streamed exclusively on iFollow or a club equivalent service, albeit for season ticket holders but non season ticket holders in both UK and aboard can purchase live games for the current match pass of £10.
Sky Sports will also broadcast the “goals as they go in” from these untelevised matches, whilst overseas broadcasters will also be able to show Sky’s live picks via Pitch International.
This arrangement will have ‘limited financial impact on the existing arrangement’ with Sky at a time when clubs have lost valuable income from match attendance, following the league’s postponement in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking of this arrangement, EFL Chair, Rick Parry thanked Sky Sports ‘for their patience and support whilst we have worked through some of the complex issues surrounding our agreement that have arisen as a result of live sport being unable to take place due to the current crisis.’
Impact on TV Selection
Sky’s original picks for postponed rounds now therefore are voided with the selection process starting “from scratch” and first selections will be announced early next week.
EFL have also confirmed that the fixture schedule is almost finalised with games spread out across following timeslots;
Friday – 6pm & 8pm
Saturday – 12:30pm, 3:00pm & 5:30pm
Sunday – 12pm
Tuesday – 5:00pm, 6:00pm & 8:00pm
Wednesday – 5:00pm, 6:00pm & 8:00pm
The 2019-20 Championship season will therefore conclude in midweek of 21/22 July with the Play-Off Final scheduled for either Sunday 2 August or Monday 3 August.
Quest will continue to provide their usual highlight shows on both Saturday evenings and in midweek, whilst TalkSPORT will continue to provide national radio commentary on various matches.
Sky Sports Managing Director, Rob Webster described this arrangement as one that helps ‘supports clubs and their communities across the country. with ‘a solution which works for them; and appreciate the positive collaborative spirit of the negotiations.’
On the availability of streaming matches, Webster said; “The availability for existing Season Ticket holders to stream matches from their Club platform will compliment Sky Sports in telling the complete story of the climax to season.”