The leading UK pay-TV sports broadcaster Sky Sports has agreed a new deal with the English Football League (EFL) to cover the series of soccer competitions in England for three seasons from 2012-13.
Despite the deal being worth £195 million (US$316.5m), this is still a significant decrease of 26 per cent from the current deal with Sky Sports and the BBC.
Under the terms of the agreement Sky Sports will extend its live coverage of the nPower Football League (Championship, League One, League Two), Carling Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy through to 2015.In announcing the deal, the League also stressed it is engaged in ongoing discussions with broadcasters regarding free-to-air match highlights.
Sky Sports will air 75 matches from the Football League, the post-season play-offs, 15 matches from the Carling Cup and at least three games from the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy live, every season, for the durations of the contract. The agreement, which also comprises highlights and clips, encompasses television, broadband internet, video-on-demand and mobile services.
Football League chairman Greg Clarke stated: “Sky Sports is a highly-valued partner of the Football League and we are delighted to extend our relationship for a further three seasons. They are a class act and our clubs will welcome their continued support.
“This has been a challenging climate in which to negotiate television rights, given the state of the economy and the lack of competitive tension in the sports broadcasting market.”
Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis added: “Sky Sports has had a long and successful partnership with the Football League. We have seen the growth of attendances, the huge success of the Play-Offs and some wonderful Carling Cup Finals. This new deal will extend the relationship to 2015 and will take us beyond our 1,000th live Football League game.”