English Football League Clubs Unsure If New Deal With Sky Will Pan Out
The "jury will be out for some time" on whether the English Football League's new £120M ($158M)-a-year TV rights contract with Sky is a "good deal" for the 72 clubs, according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. On the plus side, the club's have guaranteed TV income until '24 "after signing a five-year extension to the deal that was to end after next season." Clubs will have "unprecedented freedom" to stream or televise their own matches outside Sky's live games and the protected Saturday 3pm fixtures. But "there will be critics," led by Derby County Owner Mel Morris, about the length of time that the EFL committed itself to Sky "during an ever-changing broadcast landscape." The EFL admitted in its letter to clubs on Tuesday, "Bids were lower than we anticipated." It was revealed that BT Sport "initially put more money on the table than Sky" but declined to up the three-season offer, leaving Sky to come back with £600M ($792M) over five years. The EFL was "not able to engage both pay TV operators in a competitive auction," despite the England & Wales Cricket Board managing to do that with its TV rights tender three months earlier (DAILY MAIL, 9/12).