Championship midweek matches will be coming to Sky in 2019, after the broadcaster secured a £600m five-year deal with the English Football League.
As part of the deal Sky will broadcast Saturday matches as live, while midweek matches will be available to stream as part of Sky Sports’ interactive service.
This means football fans will be able to essentially pick and choose which matches they want to watch at their leisure, providing they are not Saturday games played between 2:45pm BST and 5:15pm BST, as these matches remain blocked from live streaming.
There will be up to 183 exclusive English Football League games shown live every season, with a further 80 midweek Championship matches available for streaming.
Twenty League One and League Two matches will be shown as a minimum, and 15 live matches from the Carabao Cup, including the Wembley final, will also feature in the deal, all giving Sky Sports and football fanatics a bevy of match choices.
Some of these midweek games will clash on a regular basis with Champions League matches shown on BT Sport, which retained the broadcasting rights to the league earlier this year despite Sky’s best efforts to snatch them from BT.
While the new English Football League deal is due to start next season with the contract running until 2024, Channel 5 currently holds the rights to show highlights of the Football League until 2018.
Sky appears to have won the rights to the English Football League by essentially offering nearly £90m-a-year more than the broadcasting rights were previously worth.
English Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said the negotiations to select a broadcaster were challenging but it would appear that Sky won out by offering the most lucrative deal.
“In agreeing 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.” Harvey said.
The deal with Sky means the broadcasting rights for the English Football League have risen to a hefty £120m per season once the existing broadcasting deal runs out at the end of 2018.
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