EFL chiefs want bids for TV rights delivered by March 23 with Sky and Scandinavian group Viaplay battling for the best packages.
There is every chance of a split in coverage for the next telly deal, starting in 2024-25, which is sure to spark much debate before the contracts are sorted.
Swedish streaming giant Viaplay is emerging as a frontrunner – capable financially of nabbing some of the many packages available.
It puts Sky‘s position as the leading provider for the EFL is under serious threat.
They’ve held the live rights since 2002 but new competition means Sky might need to almost double its £119 million deal to keep exclusive coverage.
Another twist is that lower-division clubs are happy to consider a separate deal, which would include more live games.
The EFL is looking for increased TV revenue for its clubs down the divisions.
But it also wants to adjust to changing way viewing habits, which increases the chance of more streaming being brought in.
Rights for the Championship, League One, League Two, EFL Cup, EFL Trophy and play-offs are available from 2024-25.
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And the Viaplay group has been steadily picking up sports contracts.
It bought the UK-based Premier Sports for more than £30million last year and also aims to launch in America soon.
EFL Chief Commercial Officer Ben Wright said last week: “Our objective remains to find the right mix of maximising value, increasing volume and providing a great viewing experience through evolution and innovation.”