ITV and the English Football League (EFL) have entered into a new broadcasting arrangement, with the free-to-air broadcaster securing highlights for a range of competitions.
The two-season deal will see round-ups of daily EFL highlights broadcast on the ITV4 channel at 9pm every Saturday, with repeats on the main ITV channel later in the evening, on Sunday mornings and via the ITV hub for 30 days after each showing.
Featured competitions are the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League One, Sky Bet League Two, League Cup and EFL Trophy, maximising audience exposure for a range of lower league tournaments.
For the EFL, the agreement represents an opportunity to maximise its audience exposure and distribute content to followers of its clubs following the financial difficulties of playing behind closed doors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With 1891 matches played across the season, it’s crucial for the EFL that the very best of our match action is widely accessible and we are delighted that ITV will show highlights of our games for the next two years,” said EFL Chief Executive Trevor Birch.
“As an experienced major broadcaster with a comprehensive sports portfolio, ITV’s commitment to high quality coverage will showcase the breadth and depth of our competitions to football supporters all over the country.”
A breakdown of scheduling will see highlights of midweek EFL features broadcast on ITV and ITV, with each show featuring every goal from each fixture and pundit analysis.
The deal also includes ‘extensive coverage’ of play-off semi-finals, whilst League Cup content will include a highlights programme from each round followed by both legs of the semi-finals and final, whilst a one hour programme of EFL Trophy highlights will be shown on ITV4 the day of the final.
For ITV, the agreement bolsters its sporting portfolio, which currently includes England national men’s and women’s football team matches – the latter until 2025 – the FA Cup, women’s football’s Arnold Clark Cup, Six Nations, Rugby World Cup, Premiership Rugby, the Tour de France and horse racing, including the ARC’s Racing League alongside Sky Sports Racing.
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, remarked: “This deal brings viewers free to air coverage of one of the most unpredictable divisions we have in the Sky Bet Championship, the best of the action from Sky Bet League One and League Two alongside the exciting midweek competitions in the Carabao Cup and the Papa John’s Trophy.
“By offering highlights across our platforms, via our channels and on demand on ITV Hub, we hope football fans will enjoy our EFL shows from next season.”