Sky Sports has been named preferred bidder for the organisation’s rights from 2024/25 onwards

Liverpool League Cup football

The EFL has called an all clubs meeting for 5 May to consider proposals for its domestic broadcast rights.

Sky Sports has been named the prefered bidder for the rights, and its month-long exclusive negotiating period will come to an end before the meeting. Following this period, a recommendation will be put forward by the EFL board and commercial committee, asking clubs for approval in principal. 

In accordance with EFL regulations, a majority vote of Clubs overall and a majority vote of Clubs in the Championship is required for any proposal to be passed. It appears that Sky Sports is in pole position to continue its long-running position as the organisation’s broadcaster, it is unknown whether it will be making changes to its broadcast style or quantity as a result of earlier signals that the EFL would be willing to end the 3pm blackout and air all of its fixtures.

The organisation issued its invitation to tender in February, and in the aftermath there was reported interest from the likes of DAZN, Viaplay, and Warner Bros. Discovery. DAZN’s bid hit the headlines due to the streaming platform’s aim to show all league matches live - potentially ending the 3pm blackout.

The EFL had made all of its matches available to bidders in its request for proposals last year, a step that had some believe that it was looking at ending the 3pm blackout. EFL chief commercial officer Ben Wright spoke to Broadcast Sport shortly after that announcement, revealing that the governing body was open to a wide variety of agreements, including global rights deals such as that between MLS and Apple TV+, ending the 3pm blackout, and having more than one broadcaster holding rights for different competitions.

Wright previously explained: “I think there’s a number of factors. The one thing we’ve got is a lot of volume. So 1,656 league matches alone, and on an average weekend at the moment in the UK, which is our biggest market, we’re making 5%, that product available live in 2022. Is that a contemporary approach?

“That’s a key thing, are we are we matching consumer demand? We did a lot of research, and there’s a demand for more content from fans.”

He added on the 3pm blackout: “We’ve looked at making all [matches] available, and we’ve also looked at different scenarios. We’ve also had conversations about making portions or elements of that available and still leaving an element of that protected.

“That might mean that we move a percentage of each division, or it might be that we move X number of clubs’ home matches per season, or that the clubs have the ability, should they wish to, to move out of the window and stream or broadcast themselves. But at the moment, what we’re trying to do is get options around that, more than a fixed position.”