Football League clubs meeting at St. George’s Park near Burton today have received a significant financial boost on two fronts with the news that the League has extended its current broadcasting agreement with Sky Sports and concluded a new ‘Solidarity’ agreement with the Premier League.
The Football League and Sky Sports have agreed a further one season extension to their existing domestic broadcasting agreement covering the 2018/19 season, with the League also having an option to extend the arrangement into 2019/20.
The agreement, across its initial four seasons, is the most lucrative in The Football League’s history with 148 matches per season from the Sky Bet Football League, Capital One Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy being broadcast live on Sky Sports along with highlights and clips from all three competitions.
It also encompasses television, broadband internet, Sky On Demand and mobile services.
The Football League’s Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “Sky Sports have demonstrated, once again, their outstanding commitment to The Football League and its clubs.
In extending this agreement we’ve delivered greater financial certainty to clubs for at least the next four seasons which I’m sure will be welcomed in boardrooms and by supporters across the country.”
Barney Francis, the Managing Director of Sky Sports said: “We are pleased to extend our agreement with The Football League, and provide further security to the 72 clubs long into the future. Sky Sports viewers will have more of the drama and excitement that is part and parcel of The Football League and its cup competitions.”
Additionally, The Football League and Premier League have concluded a new 'rolling' Solidarity agreement that will see a proportion of Premier League television revenues re-distributed to Football League clubs from 2016/17. It provides the first contracted link between the broadcasting revenues of the two domestic professional leagues since the formation of the Premier League in 1992.
Under the agreement, parachute payments to relegated Premier League clubs will be reduced from the current four season to three seasons, with Championship clubs (that are not in receipt of parachute payments) being awarded a solidarity payment equivalent to 30% of a third-year parachute payment. League 1 and League 2 clubs will receive 4.5% and 3% of a third-year payment, respectively.
Current Solidarity payments to Football League clubs to end of 2015/16:
Championship - £2.3m
League 1 - £360,000
League 2 - £240,000
Current third year parachute payment = £10m
The Solidarity Agreement also sees the Premier League provide funding to The Football League Trust for club community projects and investment in Youth Development at League clubs.