EFL engages advisers to aid rights strategy

The English Football League, which operates the three divisions below the top-tier Premier League, has appointed London-based Oliver & Ohlbaum as its domestic broadcast adviser.

Oliver & Ohlbaum, in partnership with industry professional Phil Lines, will provide the EFL with specialist advice on how to maximise the financial return and exposure for each of its 72 clubs.

The EFL’s current domestic rights agreement with pay-television broadcaster Sky has two seasons left to run, although there is an option to extend the deal for the 2019-20 season in November.

Oliver & Ohlbaum will undertake a comprehensive approach to research and analysis, strategy and the packaging of future rights cycles in order to gain the maximum long-term benefit for the EFL and its clubs.

Shaun Harvey, chief executive of the EFL, said: “We need to use this process to find the appropriate balance between centralised and club revenues, given the diversity of our competition and an ever-changing marketplace and I am delighted that the EFL Board has agreed, supported and endorsed these appointments.

“By going through this process we should be in a really strong position by June on whether to exercise the option or go to market.”

Oliver & Ohlbaum has been involved in Premier League media negotiations since the 1990s and also assisted with the creation of UK pay-television broadcaster BT Sport. Lines has extensive knowledge of the rights market having worked closely with other sports leagues in successful negotiations.