EFL bigwigs find the right showcase
THE EFL have received a hefty dose of criticism in recent times, but the news about their new television deal with Sky Sports appears to be a real positive.
The Whole Game Solution fell apart and the Checkatrade Trophy revamp a year ago received a lukewarm response. It left some questioning the EFL hierarchy.
Yet, to their credit, they are still looking to be innovative. The fact the new five-year deal with Sky from 2019-2024 for live broadcasting rights is worth £600m, an increase of 36 per cent year on year, is obviously a major plus – and will give the EFL’s clubs increased income.
However, it is another factor that really catches the eye.
Clubs will have the opportunity to live-stream in the UK and Ireland any league match that is outside the blocked hours of 2.45 to 5.15 on Saturday afternoons and that is not screened live by Sky.
In addition, the broadcaster can stream the same Championship fixtures to subscribers across their interactive and digital services.
Providing the cost is reasonable, then fans of EFL clubs will have a greater opportunity than ever before to watch more of their team’s matches, in particular midweek ones.
If a fan cannot get to an away game at the other end of the country on a Tuesday night, they will be able to take advantage of this new service.
The way we are watching matches is changing all the time and it’s positive that the EFL have recognised that a pure TV deal (x amount of pounds for y amount of matches) is not the way to go.
They are ahead of the game on this one and others, including the Premier League, may well follow suit.