Sky Sport extends deal with the Football League
“Sky Sports have demonstrated, once again, their outstanding commitment to the Football League and its clubs,”
“In extending this agreement we’ve delivered greater financial certainty to clubs for at least the next four seasons which I’m sure will be welcomed in boardrooms and by supporters across the country.”
The new agreement covers the 2018/19 season, with the league having also negotiated the option to extend the arrangement into 2019/20.
Sky’s current deal, the most lucrative in the Football League’s history, sees the pay-TV broadcaster showcase 148 live matches per season from the second, third and fourth tiers of English soccer, as well as the Capital One Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy knockout competitions.
As well as TV, the deal also includes internet, on demand and mobile rights.
News of the deal coincides with the announcement that the Football League has secured a new ‘solidarity’ agreement with the Premier League.
Under the agreement, parachute payments to relegated Premier League clubs will be reduced from the current four seasons to three seasons, with Championship clubs not in receipt of parachute payments being awarded a solidarity payment equivalent to 30 per cent of a third-year parachute payment. League 1 and League 2 clubs will receive 4.5 per cent and 3 per cent of a third-year payment, respectively.
The payments are designed to spread the wealth and ensure financial stability throughout the Football League pyramid following the Premier League’s record-breaking UK£5.136 billion domestic TV contract with Sky and BT.
The new ‘solidarity’ agreement marks the first contracted link between the broadcasting revenues of the Premier League and Football League since the former’s creation in 1992.
“The eventual level of parachute and solidarity payments made to Football League clubs from 2016/17 will only be known once the Premier League has concluded the sale of its overseas rights,” explained Harvey.
“Nevertheless, given the scale of its domestic agreement, it seems reasonable to expect that the eventual amounts paid to Football League clubs will be substantially greater than those we’ve seen previously and could amount to more than £100m per season.
"This agreement is hugely significant for the domestic game, not just for the Football League, but also the Premier League and the England team, both of which benefit from a vibrant and financially sustainable set of clubs beneath the top division that will continue to invest in the players and managers of the future."