Sky Sports: EFL agrees new five-year television deal worth £595m with broadcaster

TV camera
The new deal will see Sky broadcast every play-off game live as well as the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy finals

The English Football League has agreed a controversial new television rights deal with Sky Sports, worth £595m.

The deal, which runs from the start of next season until May 2024, is a 35% increase on the previous contract.

But a number of the Championship's larger clubs feel it undervalues how much the rights are worth and will meet on Tuesday to discuss their next move.

One senior club executive told BBC Sport: "The EFL has just started a war."

The broadcaster will show 138 league matches a season as well as every play-off game and the Carabao Cup final.

They will also show 14 ties from the earlier rounds of the Carabao Cup and the semi-finals and final of the Checkatrade Trophy.

The list of Championship fixtures to be broadcast will include 16 on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, with an additional eight to be broadcast simultaneously.

Sky have the option to increase the number of matches to 158 in the final two years of the agreement - these games can only be taken from weekend games.

It is understood that Derby County, Leeds United and Aston Villa are among the clubs opposed to the new contract.

Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani, who also owns broadcaster ElevenSports, has previously criticised the current deal, saying clubs are not getting enough money for games which are shown on live television.

'Unanimous decision'

Sky Sports' new tv deal with the EFL

BBC Sport understands that the nine-member EFL Board unanimously agreed to the deal, including representatives of three Championship clubs, Reading, Brentford and Bristol City.

The deal covers the Championship, League One and League Two, with the money split between all 72 clubs depending on which division they are in.

EFL interim chair Debbie Jevans said in a statement that she will review how the league discusses future deals with clubs as a result of the concerns:

"Concluding these negotiations has indeed been challenging, as is the case when managing a diverse group of stakeholders, and the board took on board the comments and frustrations voiced by a number of clubs and has committed to reviewing the way the League engages with its clubs to ensure that we move forward in a collaborative way in the future," she said.

By comparison, the Premier League's three-year television deal with Sky and BT Sport is worth £4.55bn, but the amount Amazon paid for one package of games has not been disclosed.

"The deal we have entered into with Sky, after fully testing the current market through our external advisors, allows our clubs the benefit of financial security which was an absolute priority for us throughout this process," said EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey.

"It is a partnership that, as well as having the necessary financial benefits, provides the EFL with the platform to maximise reach and exposure for its competitions, alongside providing further opportunities for clubs to monetise some of those games not broadcast on television through a DTC offering."

Debbie Jevans
Debbie Jevans has been the EFL’s acting chair since Ian Lenegan stepped down in September

'They have just started a war' - Analysis

Simon Stone, BBC Sport

The EFL have stuck their necks out in signing this deal.

This morning, I was told 21 out of the 24 Championship clubs wanted the EFL to ask Sky for more time, or even negotiate a shorter contract, to allow some of the issues - amount of money being paid, the number of times clubs are on TV, the mass streaming of midweek games - to be sorted out.

Should this deal go through against their wishes, I was told by one senior club executive that the "EFL should not be patting themselves on the back thinking they have won and they should not see this as being done, because in fact, they have just started a war".

Now the Championship clubs must decide whether there is any substance behind their rhetoric, whether they are willing to do anything to back up their claims of incompetence.

A meeting is due to take place on Tuesday. The outcome will be very interesting indeed.

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