The new Sky Sports-EFL broadcast deal and what it means for Middlesbrough next season

Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick is interviewed by Sky Sports
Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick is interviewed by Sky Sports -Credit:Simon Dael/REX/Shutterstock

Middlesbrough will be shown live on Sky Sports at least 24 times next season, including on the opening day, as the new domestic EFL broadcast deal begins.

Said to be worth £935m over a five-year period (£179m annually), it represents a 50% increase on the current rights value for clubs and will see over 1,000 EFL games a season broadcast live each season, with a guaranteed six-camera setup for each game in improved coverage. The obligation to show Boro and other Championship clubs 24 times is double of the current deal which is an obligation of 12.

In terms of the details of the new deal, no new broadcast slots will be created, with five Championship games and five League One and League Two games broadcast each standard weekend. That means there will be games on Friday evening and Sunday lunchtime, as well as three Championship Saturday 12.30 pm kick-offs.

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The 3pm Saturday blackout will remain, but will not apply to the opening weekend because the Premier League is not in action. It means Sky Sports can broadcast all EFL games that weekend, with two Championship games on Friday at 8pm, eight games on Saturday that will all kick-off at either 12.30 pm, 3 pm or 5.30 pm, and then two more on Sunday at a time to be confirmed.

All midweek games will be broadcast live, as will all games on the final weekend of the season and on bank holidays, including Boxing Day and New Year's Day. For the first time, every Carabao Cup game will be broadcast live too.

In a commitment to trying to help supporters, Sky Sports have committed to giving more notice on changes to the schedule. On fixture release day (for which the date is not yet confirmed), fans will know when games will be played and if they're moved for TV up to September. Before the season kick-off on August 9, Sky will have confirmed all TV games up to the third round of the FA Cup in January.

A further announcement in November 2024 will confirm TV games until March 2025. Sky will then revert to a more traditional process of selecting games based on the situation in each league, which Sky say will be around four weeks notice.

Because of the midweek and bank holiday fixtures, not all 24-plus games broadcast will be moved to a new time, while included in the minimum 24 games for Championship clubs will be at least one Carabao Cup game, depending on the progress in the competition.

The new deal represents one of the biggest shake-ups in British sports broadcasting history. But it will prove controversial, with some concerns cast over what the deal will mean for attendances across the EFL with so many games broadcast.

In terms of actually watching the games, that will come via Sky' new Sky Sports+ platform which replaces the red button operation in place for the previous broadcast deal. Sky Sports+ will be automatically provided to all existing Sky Sports subscribers for no extra cost, while NOW TV passes will also have every broadcast game.

A new Sky Sports+ channel will broadcast the main game of that broadcast slot, with every other game being broadcast live at that time will be available on via your Sky box, NOW TV app or the new Sky Sports app. Every game will have commentators and six camera angles.

The new deal will effectively replace the EFL’s domestic video streaming option provided via iFollow and club streaming services. Audio services will remain alongside existing audio-visual arrangements for international audiences.

In terms of the finances for clubs, the new deal represents an extra £60m per season for the EFL. Facility fees will be applicable, but this still requires a debate amongst clubs in respect of how they will be allocated. Currently, clubs receive around £100,000 for hosting a live game, while the away side receive around 10% of that.