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New EFL television deal

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The English Football League has agreed a new five year television deal with Sky worth £600m, 36 per cent more than the current deal.   Outside of the 3pm Saturday blackout, clubs will be able to stream their own matches online.  All midweek Championship matches will be available for selection by television viewers.

Concerns have been raised about the impact of the deal on attendances and how the money will be distributed between clubs.

The Lex column in the Financial Times has expressed concerns about how long the television bonanza can continue.  It points out that football viewing figures in the UK were down last year and the rate of subscriber churn at Sky has been increasing.   I would think that one background factor here is the squeeze on real incomes.

Sky subscriber numbers have nevertheless continued to grow, in part because of Now TV, the online version that allows customers to buy occasional access to content.   Lex thinks this looks like a future of cheaper pay-as-you-go television.

The Pink 'Un does not think that the crunch will come in next year's negotiations, but predicts that at some point income from television will drop, threatening wage structures and transfer values.