Sky Sports and the EFL are set to ensure supporters don’t miss any of the EFL action when the season returns next month after agreeing a new flexible framework that will ensure league matches are either available for broadcast or streaming whilst access to matches is restricted. The broadcaster will show 130 live EFL league matches throughout season 2020/21. They will kick-off with Watford v Middlesbrough on Friday 11 September 2020 before another two fixtures are televised throughout the opening weekend.
The second live game this season will be Brentford's opening fixture of the Championship season. The Bees head to Birmingham City on Saturday 12 September. This game will now kick-off at 12.30pm and will be live on Sky Sports.
While the doors remain shut to fans, or with limited spectators allowed through the turnstiles, an arrangement exists whereby all matches that are NOT LIVE on Sky Sports will be available to stream by Clubs on iFollow (or Club equivalent service), for a match pass price of £10. In addition, a framework has been put in place to allow clubs to offer Season Ticket Holders iFollow access to all HOME GAMES. In the Championship access to AWAY MIDWEEK matches will also be available as part of the season ticket package if Clubs choose to offer it.
The match by match streaming and Season Ticket offer is a TEMPORARY measure that has only been put in place whilst clubs operate at a zero or reduced capacity as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This will be subject to regular review with the first set for early October. The EFL framework states that iFollow access for Season Ticket Holders is only available if supporters purchase their 2020/21 Season Ticket by 4 October.
The selection of our game against Birmingham for TV coverage follows the news that our first match of the new season, against Wycombe Wanderers in the Carabao Cup, will also be live on Sky Sports. As announced last week, a plan is being developed for the 2020/21 campaign that delivers what fans want – access to The Bees - and minimises the need to issue refunds, helping to protect our Club. Further details will be announced in due course.
EFL Chief Executive David Baldwin said: “There is no argument that attending live matches is what the League, its clubs and fans want to see and, clearly, the overriding objective is to get supporters back into stadiums as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, this framework allows our clubs, if they so wish, to reward their most loyal supporters by providing what we hope is only short-term access to watch their matches.
“It’s important that whilst the doors remain fully, or part shut, we ensure there is the ability for fans of all EFL clubs to be able to gain access and watch their team and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sky Sports for their support in this matter. Collectively, it’s not our preferred situation but given the circumstances Covid has presented us it gives us a temporary option whilst we finalise our plans for fans returning.”
Sky Sports Selections
The initial selections have been made and include the following games will be broadcast over the opening weekend:
Friday 11 September Watford v Middlesbrough 19:45
Saturday 12 September Birmingham City v Brentford 12:30
Sunday 13 September Ipswich Town v Wigan Athletic 12:00
Sky Bet Championship Streaming
Championship clubs are able to stream any match not shown live on Sky to fans who purchase individual match passes for £10.
The new framework for Season Ticket Holders allows clubs to have the option to provide streams of:
Clubs cannot provide access to any away weekend match, live on Sky or not, within a Season Ticket package.
Leagues One and Two Streaming
League One and Two are able to stream any match not shown live on Sky to fans who purchase individual match passes for £10.
The new framework for Season Ticket Holders allows Clubs to have the option to also stream:
Clubs cannot provide access to any away match, live on Sky or not, within a Season Ticket package.
Carabao Cup Streaming
Round One Carabao Cup matches that are not selected for live broadcast by Sky Sports will also be eligible for Clubs to stream. These will only be available on a match pass basis at £10.