Sky has entered into an exclusive period of negotiation with the English Football League in a blow to rival DAZN.
The streaming platform was being talked up as a possible bidder for the rights having bid to screen all 1,656 Championship, League One and League Two matches live, a plan that would have ended the Saturday 3pm football blackout in the UK. There was also competition from Nordic streamer Viaplay and the new BT Sport-Discovery Warner Bros. venture TNT Sports.
However, Sky has now become the preferred bidder after “a full and comprehensive review of the multiple submissions” by the EFL.
It would keep alive a relationship between Sky and the EFL that goes back to the collapse of ITV Digital in 2002. To do so Sky has increased its current £119 million a year offer.
The current deal gives Sky 138 live games, plus the end of season play offs and the League Cup final.