The English Football League (EFL) and Sky Sports have agreed a ground-breaking deal for next season which will allow every club from all three divisions to live stream every match on their club website.
The new agreement will grant access to current season-ticket holders free of charge, for every club across the EFL Championship, League One and League Two, while non season-ticket holders will be able to watch for a £10 fee. Saturday 3pm kick-off matches will also be available, for the first time, as part of the deal to help boost the economy of the clubs in the lower divisions of English football.
The current broadcasting deal sees Sky Sports pay £119 million a year to exclusively broadcast EFL and Carabao Cup games. However, under the current circumstances, Sky Sports recognise the financial struggle clubs face and sympathise with them as they’re unable to generate matchday revenue through ticket sales for the foreseeable future. Therefore, have come to a conclusion to allow clubs to live stream games that were scheduled to be shown live on TV without receiving compensation in return.
Regular reviews will take place, as guidelines are known to change rapidly, but the agreement is expected to continue until football fans can fill the stands up to 50 percent capacity. Though, reports expect fans can return in October at the earliest, given the original plan was to allow fans at 20 and 30 percent capacity.
Following UEFA lifting the ban on Saturday 3pm kick-offs, those matches will also be available to watch as part of the agreement between the EFL and Sky Sports.
For clubs in the Championship, all the revenue produced through the use of streaming will be kept by the club who sells the service. Whereas, a more complex revenue-sharing formula will be used to counteract any disparities among clubs according to their fanbase for League One and Two clubs.
In contrast, according to Sportsmail last week, Premier League clubs rejected the idea which EFL clubs welcome.
The EFL Cup is expected to commence on August 29 with the 2020-21 season beginning on September 12.
Author: James Parker