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EFL commences new rights tender process

The English Football League, which operates the three divisions below the top-tier Premier League, has issued an invitation to tender for its domestic live broadcast rights.

It was revealed last month at the EFL’s 2017 Summer Conference that the league, which is looking to maximise the financial return and exposure for all 72 member clubs and its competitions, would not be exercising the option to extend its current deal.

The rights, which are available from the start of the 2019-20 campaign for a period of between three and five seasons, are for all EFL matches including the play-offs, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy.

In addition, the EFL has also gone to market with its domestic highlights rights, which are available for a period that will conclude at the same time as any new live rights deal. Deadline dates for the ITT were not disclosed.

The EFL’s current agreement with pay-television broadcaster Sky has two seasons left to run, but there was an option to extend the deal for the 2019-20 campaign.

The EFL board reached the decision last month following a “thorough and rigorous evaluation” by broadcast advisors Oliver & Ohlbaum, in partnership with media-rights expert Phil Lines, who were appointed earlier this year to devise a broadcasting strategy for the league.

The EFL said that the research and analysis had included an assessment of consumer demand and an “understanding” of the appetite from UK broadcasters and media platforms, with the clubs supporting the move.