EFL and IMG to enhance football coverage on Sky


Source: IMG

The English Football League (EFL) has teamed up with sports and events outfit IMG to upgrade Sky Sports coverage of matches for the coming five seasons.

The EFL is committing to an upgrade in audio-visual production that will see more cameras at broadcast Sky Bet EFL fixtures, enhanced commentary facilities, new in-game graphics and improved features.

In the UK, 1,059 EFL matches in the Sky Bet EFL, Carabao Cup and Bristol Street Motors Trophy matches are set to be broadcast exclusively across existing Sky Sports channels or live via a Sky Sports streaming destination.

IMG will produce 866 matches per season for Sky Sports’ streaming service with the remaining balance produced by Sky for their main channel output.

IMG will produce a further 832 matches (making 1,698 in total) which will be distributed outside of the UK by EFL rights holders Pitch International and Relevent Sports. Clubs will also be able to offer enhanced output via their own international streaming services to fans of EFL Clubs outside of the UK.

The main change involves increased camera setups across all EFL divisions, with six cameras in the Championship, four cameras in League One and two cameras in League Two – up from four, one and one cameras respectively.

Carabao Cup matches will feature a minimum of two cameras plus an up-scaled four-camera set-up for later rounds of the competition. All Bristol Street Motors Trophy matches will remain available to view with a one camera setup until the semi-finals.

IMG will also provide enhanced post-match highlights packages for partners and clubs, with all broadcasts featuring enriched in-game graphics, alongside features including recaps and highlights from the live match plus games from earlier kick-offs.

With a larger number of matches to be broadcast concurrently, IMG and the League will work with NEP Connect Limited to upgrade existing bandwidth and resilience.

EFL chief commercial officer, Ben Wright said: “The start of the 2024/25 season, represents an exciting new era for the EFL with record-breaking rights deals at home and abroad that will see a huge number of games broadcast and a new way of watching for fans of EFL Clubs.

“It was imperative that our Production Partner had the experience, expertise and capability to elevate our broadcast output across our competitions and after a thorough RFP process, it was clear that IMG could offer the world class service level required with the track record to match.

“Having started this relationship in 2019, IMG understands the EFL and the needs of its Clubs. The enhancement of that relationship with increased output will provide significant benefit to Sky Sports, Clubs, partners and other affiliates. The partnership aims to put fans first, innovate and ultimately deliver an enhanced viewing experience for EFL fans everywhere.”

IMG head of studios Barney Francis said: “We are proud of everything we have achieved with the EFL over the past five years, entertaining fans with more than 500,000 minutes of thrilling action, highlights packages and broadcast shows, and building a ground-breaking remote production that’s unrivalled in football globally.

“Our work with the EFL and major global football leagues provides unique, in-depth expertise and understanding of the technical solutions, innovations, workflows and reliability required to deliver a project of this scale through a fan-first lens.

“We are excited to take the EFL viewing experience to the next level for fans domestically and around the world, with upscaled production, enhanced coverage and continued innovation.”

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