Sky Sports has agreed a three year deal with the Football League to show live coverage of the Npower Championship, Carling Cup, Playoffs and Johnston Paint trophy in a deal which is worth £69m less than the current contract.
For Football League clubs, this could mean that their revenues from TV sources over the next three years are slashed as Sky Sports plans to show football league coverage after paying £195m for the right to screen 75 live football matches.
Previously digital TV provider Sky and terrestrial channel BBC held the rights to the Football League jointly in a deal which was worth £264m to screen live matches between the 2009 to 2011 seasons. It is believed that the BBC has pulled out because it is unable to make a competitive bid for the new rights.
Despite the lower revenues, Greg Clarke the chairman of the Football League said “I am confident that our clubs will take heart from seeing such a significant ongoing investment in their competitions, despite a reduced level of broadcasting income, as it provides financial certainty in uncertain times,”
“This has been a challenging climate in which to negotiate television rights, given the state of the economy and the lack of competitive tension in the sports broadcasting market.”
The Football League said that the price for the live sports rights had been agreed well in advance, and the current deal also compares well against the rights for the 2006/09 season which sold for £109m.
Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports said “Sky Sports will bring viewers more live matches – over 100 a year from across all divisions and each of the league’s competitions.”
“We have seen the growth of attendances, the huge success of the play-offs and some wonderful Carling Cup finals. This new deal will extend the relationship to 2015 and will take us beyond our 1,000th live Football League game.”