After a successful opening weekend to the 2016/17 campaign, the EFL has today outlined this season’s approach to TV fixture scheduling to provide the best experience for its clubs and their supporters.
In a joint commitment with broadcast partner Sky Sports, the recently rebranded EFL has vowed to ensure all its clubs are given at least five weeks’ notice ahead of any matches selected for live television coverage.
Furthermore, the EFL will then commit to publicly announcing any fixture changes within three working days in order to give EFL supporters as much time as is possible to allow for any alterations to travel plans that may be required.
If both the EFL and Sky Sports are unable to meet this timeframe then the clubs involved have the ability to choose not to be broadcast live on television.
However, if both clubs mutually agree to the rescheduling of the fixture within this five-week period then the game will be played on the new date.
Throughout the course of season 2016/17, 92 Sky Bet Championship fixtures will be screened exclusively live on Sky Sports along with 20 games from Sky Bet League 1 and Sky Bet League 2.
EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: “This is an extremely important issue for fans up and down the country, one we understand and we will always seek to give fans as much notice as we can in respect of fixtures that are requested to be shown live on television as part of the broadcast contract.
“Sky Sports has invested significantly in our competition, helping clubs bring through improved facilities and better players on the pitch so while we are conscious of the impact scheduling matches for television coverage can have, there is a balance to strike.
“We want as many people to enjoy the EFL as possible. We look forward to working together on the five-week commitment and other initiatives over the course of the next ten months, in what is shaping up to be yet another exciting season in the EFL.”
In addition to moving fixtures for TV, games can still be rearranged at short notice if players are called up to their respective international sides.
Under current EFL rules, if three players from a first team squad are selected by their national team for a competitive or friendly match on a FIFA International Match Calendar date, clubs have the right to postpone and reschedule.