EXCLUSIVE: EFL consider ending the 3pm Saturday blackout and making EVERY match available for live broadcast in 2024-25… with Facebook, Netflix, Google, Apple and Amazon set to be offered TV rights
- The EFL are ready to make every match available for live broadcast in 2024-25
- An offer for interested parties to bid for TV rights will be sent in the next 24 hours
- If a deal is struck, the 3pm Saturday blackout will come to an end in the EFL
- Facebook, Netflix and Google are amongst the companies who will be targeted
The EFL are ready to make every match available for live broadcast and end the 3pm Saturday blackout in their next TV rights deal from the 2024-25 season.
Sportsmail has learned that an invitation to bid for live rights will be sent out to interested parties in the next 24 hours, with the EFL targeting Facebook, Netflix, Google, Apple and Amazon in addition to the main domestic rights holders, Sky Sports and BT Sport.
The EFL’s tender document is understood to be a request for proposals rather than a fixed offering, with the board seeking innovative solutions to the changing broadcast market. The board are convinced that by selling more matches they can get a better deal than the current £119million-a-year contract with Sky, with a target of £200m-a-year.
The EFL are ready to live broadcast every match and bring an end the 3pm Saturday blackout
An invitation to bid for live TV rights in the EFL is set to be handed out to interested parties
As a result there no set number of matches or contract length in the document to be sent to broadcasters, with the EFL making clear they are willing to televise every game and ditch the blackout, which has been in place since the 1960s. Maintaining the current model of selling exclusive rights for a finite number of matches to one broadcaster will also be considered.
The current Sky deal includes 138 games-per-year, with just two Championship matches shown each weekend.
Many of the bigger clubs opposed that deal so will welcome plans to sell more games.
Apple are amongst the companies who will be offered the chance to acquire live rights
Dropping the 3pm blackout would come from the EFL lobbying the FA, who in turn would have to apply to UEFA for an exemption.
The blackout only applies to when 50 per cent of Premier League and Championship matches are due to kick off at 3pm on a Saturday however, so shifting half the programme would also enable all games to be televised.
The Premier League will be watching the EFL’s sales process with interest.
The bigger clubs feel that the top flight’s TV rights are undervalued — with those under American ownership in particular pushing for the right to sell more matches to streaming companies.
If a deal is struck, all matches in England’s lower three professional leagues will be screened
With the value of sports rights falling after the pandemic the Premier League opted to renew their existing domestic deal with Sky Sports and BT Sport for the 2022-25 cycle last year rather than gamble with a more innovative approach.
While the Premier League still support the blackout they have largely moved on from that model.
On Saturday, there are just two top-flight kick-offs scheduled for 3pm — Fulham v Bournemouth and Wolves v Nottingham Forest.
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article