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Latest EFL TV selections revealed by Sky Sports for February and March

The latest EFL TV selections have been revealed by Sky Sports for October with majority of them as always from the Championship.

TV selections are bound to wind fans up, and you can see the reaction further down in this article, as always with these picks, bound to see some controversy.

LATEST PICKS:

Friday 20 October – Rotherham United v Ipswich Town – 8pm
Saturday 21 October – Preston North End v Millwall – 12.30pm
Tuesday 24 October – Leicester City v Sunderland – 8pm
Wednesday 25 October – Stoke City v Leeds United – 8pm
Wednesday 25 October – Preston North End v Southampton* – 7.45pm
Saturday 28 October – Southampton v Birmingham City – 12.30pm
Monday 30 October – Coventry City v West Bromwich Albion – 8pm
*Co-exclusive

ALREADY PICKED:

Fri 15 Sep 2023 – 20:00 KO – Southampton v Leicester City
Sat 16 Sep 2023 – 19:45 KO – Cardiff City v Swansea City
Sun 17 Sep 2023 – 12:00 KO – Millwall v Leeds United
Tue 19 Sep 2023 – 20:00 KO – Sheffield Wednesday v Middlesbrough
Wed 20 Sep 2023 – 20:00 KO – Norwich City v Leicester City
Fri 22 Sep 2023 – 20:00 KO – Birmingham City v Queens Park Rangers
Sun 24 Sep 2023 – 12:00 KO – Stoke City v Hull City
Mon 25 Sep 2023 – 20:00 KO Coventry City v Huddersfield Town
Fri 29 Sep 2023 – 20:00 KO – Sheffield Wednesday v Sunderland
Sat 30 Sep 2023 – 12:30 KO – Southampton v Leeds United
Sun 01 Oct 2023 – 12:00 KO – Blackburn Rovers v Leicester City
Tue 03 Oct 2023 – 20:00 KO – Stoke City v Southampton
Wed 04 Oct 2023 – 20:00 KO – Rotherham United v Bristol City
Fri 06 Oct 2023 – 20:00 KO – Birmingham City v West Bromwich Albion
Sat 07 Oct 2023 – 12:30 KO – Sunderland v Middlesbrough
Mon 09 Oct 2023 – 20:00 KO – Burton Albion v Cambridge United
Sat 14 Oct 2023 – 12:30 KO – Notts County v Mansfield Town

Here’s how social media users reacted to the latest EFL TV selections revealed by Sky Sports for October…

@jimmyson82: Another fine selection from leagues one and two. Shocking

@stfcjosh: No League one or Two, shock

@80sRuss: Fans and travelling distances clearly not taken into account. Disgrace, protect fans @EFL

@LeadTestInclude: Now we see why League 1 and League 2 get so little funding for TV rights… @DMAC102 @hardtruthpod Doesn’t look like they exist for Sky…

@Juninhoismagic: Football on non-bank holiday Mondays should be banned.

@Jamie_Hudson_: 1 league two game. And it’s always Notts County or Wrexham 🤦‍♂️

@iflynno: Wow you’re kidding me. Sky Sports give it a rest stuffing the fans once again.

@thejodiefry: Jeez we ever playing on a Saturday again? #pusb

@MrPhilJohnson: Such a joke! Another game I can’t take my kids to! Do we get refunded for these games?

@PeterBone1: Another weekend ruined #skysportsshite

@SephtonMark: TV broadcasters are taking the piss & spoiling the wkends! At least cover us playing away! Most of games are all at home. They need to decide which games they are covering a week after fixtures are published so people can make plans. Only good thing is more 💰 for club #PUSB

@aligills10: Usual shower of shit from Sky

@KBizz1e: Stop giving League One & Two so much attention.

EFL DATES FOR TV SELECTIONS (illustrative only and may change)

  • Remainder of August Selections for 13 August to 31 August by 8 July
  • Selections for 03 September to 17 September by 29 July
  • Selections for 01 October to 22 October by 26 August.
  • Selections for 29 October to 12 November by 23 September.
  • Selections for 19 November to 03 December by 14 October.
  • Selections for 10 December to 01 January by 04 November.
  • Selections for 14 January to 04 February by 03 December.
  • Selections for 11 February to 25 February by 06 January.
  • Selections for 04 March by 03 February.
  • Selections for 11 March to 15 March by 10 February.
  • Selections for 18 March by 17 February.
  • Selections for 26 March (Int Break) by 24 February.
  • Selections for 01 April by 03 March.
  • Selections for 07 April to 10 April (Easter) by 10 March.
  • Selections for 15 April by 17 March.
  • Selections for 22 April by 24 March.
  • Selections for 29 April by 07 April.
  • Selections for 06 May by 01 May.

Meanwhile, the EFL confirms its stance on a potential scrapping of the 3pm television blackout rule.

Clubs in the English Football League are to have their say about potentially scrapping the 3pm television blackout rule this summer.

The rule, which was brought into force back in the 1960s, bans live football from being shown on TV between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday. However with people’s viewing habits changing and the pandemic seeing blackout rules temporarily axed, it raises talk of Saturday 3pm games being made available to broadcast.

However, contrary to various reports, the EFL aren’t said to be actively promoting this outcome but do insist that member clubs who want change can talk about it during this summer’s AGM which takes place in June.

When football returned after the Covid break in June 2020, all EFL games were broadcast over the iFollow streaming service with fans unable to attend matches. This included those taking place at 3pm on Saturdays.

The temporary rule was got rid of for the start of the current season, with no restrictions on attendances inside stadiums and this meant lower amount of games streamed over iFollow, instead showing them during midweek but only if they weren’t already on Sky Sports. Speaking in October 2021, the EFL’s chair Rick Parry refused to rule out the prospect of the law being scrapped.

He said: “I don’t see (an end to the blackout) as being essential. Having said that, I don’t necessarily rule it out. We are almost unique in Europe now in having a blackout period. I’m not presuming that it goes, but equally, if we’re looking at streaming, at new technologies and new broadcasters, we will probably have to be open-minded in terms of scheduling.”

Any plans to scrap the rule would need to be passed by UEFA. Of what we know already, the decision to keep or axe the Tv blackout is a mixed one. Bradford City CEO Ryan Sparks told i news that he was in favour of the 3pm blackout being axed.

He said: “I know there’s people asking: ‘Will away fans still come?’ It’s a fear for League One or League Two clubs but they are two different markets. People who want to go to away games will still go to away games – the numbers don’t change when we have midweek games that are on iFollow. What you do get is a not inconsiderable extra revenue stream from those who wouldn’t go to the game but buy an iFollow pass. It is about opening up that new revenue stream.”

In contrast, The Football Supporters Association chairman Malcolm Clarke said earlier this season that he saw “no reason” to change the current broadcasting rules.

Another reason to raise discussion is the EFL’s existing TV deal with Sky Sports, who this season will show a total of 228 live games, is due to end in 2024 and ITV had won a two-year deal to show highlights of the competition, starting from the new season.

SEE MORE: EFL plan to end 3pm Saturday blackout and make available live games on streaming giants

Huge changes announced by EFL in landmark broadcasting deal with Sky Sports

EFL clubs have unanimously approved a record domestic rights deal with broadcaster Sky Sports worth £935m over a five-year period with over 1,000 matches to be broadcast each season – a record number of games for any club football agreement.

Running from season 2024/25 to season 2028/29, the arrangement will be made up of guaranteed payments of £895m and £40m in marketing benefits. In total, 1,059 EFL matches are set to be broadcast exclusively across existing Sky Sports channels or live via a Sky Sports streaming destination available on TV and mobile devices.

Increased value and promotion

The new deal represents a 50% increase on the value of the current rights agreement and will see significantly enhanced exposure for all EFL clubs provided through on-air and digital support from Sky Sports to promote EFL competitions, clubs, and community initiatives.

Each season, Sky Sports will broadcast a minimum of:

  • 328 Sky Bet Championship matches
  • 248 Sky Bet League One matches
  • 248 Sky Bet League Two matches
  • All 15 Play-Off matches
  • All 93 Carabao Cup matches
  • All 127 EFL Trophy matches

Each League weekend fixture round will see 10 live EFL fixtures shown. Five matches will be shown from the Sky Bet Championship and supporters of Sky Bet League One and League Two teams will now benefit from greater coverage than ever before with five of their games being broadcast live. For the first time ever, fans will be also able to watch every match from the Carabao Cup and EFL Trophy.

All opening, final day, and midweek fixtures in the Sky Bet EFL will be shown live as will all games played on Bank Holidays including Easter, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day alongside the matches played in Sky Bet League One & Two during international breaks.

Increased notice for fans 

With the substantial increase in the number of live matches, Sky Sports and the EFL will introduce a new commitment for clubs and fans which will provide longer notice periods on TV selections. The defined notice periods will enable clubs and fans to plan further in advance and this will include the placement of all live matches selected for broadcast for the period to FA Cup 3rd Round before the start of the season. Greater parity in the number of times that clubs are selected for TV coverage is also guaranteed.

Article 48 to remain

The new deal allows for ‘Article 48’, the blocked broadcast period between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on Saturday afternoons to remain, meaning that main broadcast fixtures will be scheduled for outside of this time. Final fixture slots will be confirmed at a later date.

Domestic Streaming

From the 2024/25 season onward, this agreement makes more matches available to stream and will effectively replace the current Sky Sports EFL red button coverage and the EFL’s domestic streaming option provided via iFollow and club streaming services. Domestic streaming audio services will remain alongside existing audio-visual arrangements for international audiences via iFollow and club streaming services.

Enhanced production values and camera numbers 

The EFL and Sky Sports will continue to work together to innovate, seeking opportunities to improve coverage and take viewers closer to the action, while the EFL will be investing significantly in production infrastructure to enhance the viewing experience. Sky Sports will have a minimum of eight cameras for each game broadcast on existing channels. For matches available to stream, Sky commentary will be provided and a minimum of four cameras will be used at Championship and League One matches, and a minimum of two cameras in League Two.

Commenting, Chief Executive of the EFL, Trevor Birch said: 

“After completing an extensive tender and negotiation process, this is a landmark broadcast deal for EFL clubs, establishing the League as a premium partner with a world-renowned broadcaster in Sky Sports.

“The EFL is an iconic sports property and one of the biggest and best attended Leagues in European football. This increased investment and coverage from Sky Sports will showcase much more of our compelling match action to fans, while delivering record rights values as we seek to make our clubs sustainable at all levels.

“For decades, Sky Sports has been a fantastic broadcast partner for both the EFL and English football, helping our sport grow through its sustained support, so we are delighted to announce this innovative agreement that combines the strength of an established brand with a modern streaming service for the benefit of EFL clubs, fans and Sky Sports alike.

“With some 20 million attending Sky Bet EFL matches each season and significant interest in the League at home and abroad, we look forward to growing our collective fanbase further and we’d like to thank Sky Sports for its ongoing commitment to the clubs and the communities which this investment will directly support.”

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