Sky Sports has agreed a new five-year contract with the English second division. The new deal is worth £600 million to the Championship and the league will see its games broadcast on the sports provider until 2024.
According to Sky, the Championship is the fourth most watched league in Europe, and the second division will now have a massive £600m domestic television contract.
The new deal will allow Championship clubs to now stream their matches online via their own websites as long as Sky Sports is not broadcasting the match live. The availability of midweek fixtures to such a wide audience has been a sticking point with some second division clubs. However, enough teams were interested in making them available via the internet that it was put into the contract. The addition of streaming midweek fixtures is a major coup for everyone involve, and with the changing environment of television, it could be a major step forward for the division.
Sky’s need for midweek football comes as part of BT Sport’s ongoing contract with the Champions League and Europa League. Midweek Championship fixtures will fill the void Sky has had since losing their domestic deal to show UEFA competition matches. BT Sport holds the right to show those games until 2021.
Sky Sports will now show 150 English Football League games. Sixteen of those will be shown in midweek. The sports channel will also air 20 League One and League Two fixtures each season.
The new deal will be worth £120m per season and will take effect at the beginning of the 2019 football term. Sky Sports current deal with the Championship is worth £88.3m per football season.
The good news is football fans will get to watch even more live football on television. However, the Saturday 3PM blackout of all fixtures will remain despite the new deal.