Media Rights Market Buoyed by New Sky Deal

Sky Sports has signed a new five year deal with the English Football League for the exclusive right to broadcast matches in the UK and Ireland. The deal will be an extension to the current deal and will run until 2024.

Fears over a slow down in the inflation of media rights deals may be unfounded as this deal is worth £600 million in total, £120 million a year, and an increase on the current deal which is worth £90 million per year.

It is also a marker for the new ways in which games are being distributed with up to 80 games being streamed live through Sky Channels and the rights retained for clubs to stream their own games via a League developed OTT or direct to consumer model. This applies to any of the now 260 live games a season that are signed over to Sky, up from 145 in the current deal.

Sky revealed yesterday that overall viewing figures for games in the League had risen 12 per cent year on year last season and are already up seven per cent this season.

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“Sky Sports has for many years been a hugely important and valued partner of the EFL and we are delighted to extend our relationship by a further five years,” said English Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey. “I would like to thank all those who submitted bids and we now look forward to working with the Sky Sports team as they cement their position as the broadcast home of live EFL matches.”

“These negotiations came at what was an incredibly challenging period in the sale and acquisition of sports rights in the UK and, having fully tested the market, we believe that not only has a significant increase in value for our Clubs been achieved, but also the very best deal, with the best partner has been delivered.”

“In agreeing to a deal over five seasons, it delivers a guaranteed increase in the level of income distributed to EFL Clubs from 2019/20 and long-term financial certainty was an absolute priority throughout this process.”

“It is a partnership that as well as having mutual tangible benefits, allows the EFL to maximise reach and exposure for its competitions, alongside providing further opportunities for Clubs to generate additional incremental revenues through iFollow.”

Read More about the Live streaming approach of the Football league and others

“The new opportunity for EFL Clubs to live-stream their matches through a direct to consumer service in the UK is a revolutionary and exciting step forward for football broadcasting rights in the UK and we will monitor its progress closely to determine how this model can be considered for future EFL rights cycles.”

“This is great news for EFL fans and our viewers, with more live games than ever before and more opportunities for fans to watch their teams live,” added Managing Director of Sky Sports Barney Francis.

“With a new dedicated football channel and newly enhanced digital platforms, adding more games means Sky Sports is getting even better for football fans.”

“Securing the EFL strengthens the Sky Sports service even further with the rights that matter most to our customers. This follows similar enhanced deals with Sky Sports becoming the exclusive home of F1 from 2019 for five years, and the only place to see England home cricket and the new domestic T20 competition live through to 2024.”

“Viewing of live EFL games grew by 12% year-on-year last season, and is up a further 7% so far this season. Fans value our live EFL coverage and we are delighted to be able to offer even more in the coming years.”

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