What the new Sky Sports TV deal means for Bristol City, Bristol Rovers and their EFL rivals

Bristol City and Bristol Rovers will see at least 20 of their matches televised on Sky Sports next season as part of the broadcaster’s new rights deal with the EFL.

More than 1,000 EFL matches across the three divisions, as well as the Carabao Cup and Bristol Street Motors Trophy, will be broadcast on Sky Sports, four times the current amount, with a commitment to show each Championship outfit at least 24 times and each League One and League Two. on at least 20 occasions. This includes EFL cup competitions as well as the leagues in which the clubs play.

Previously, Sky was required to show all 24 Championship clubs at least 12 times each on television, while there was no requirement to show the other 48 clubs in League One and League Two.

In addition, this new offer will see every match not covered by Article 48, better known as a blackout, broadcast. This includes all midweek fixtures as well as games played on the opening and final weekends and public holidays.

As well as league matches, Sky will televise every game played in the Carabao Cup and Bristol Street Motors Trophy, meaning that based on last season’s schedule, all 72 teams will have their first two games of the campaign broadcast, as the first match of league is usually watched. of the tie in the first round of the Carabao Cup.

The way the opening weekend will work is that on Friday night (August 9), two Championship games will be shown alongside one each from League One and League Two, while Saturday (August 10) will see eight games of the second level and the rest. 11 matches from the third and fourth divisions will be televised. Then, on Sunday, August 11, the last two championship matches will be broadcast.

However, each division will have a set start time on Saturday between 12.30pm, 3.00pm and 5.30pm, with the allocation still to be decided. This means that if both City and Rovers’ opening games were chosen for Saturday 10 August, the two Bristol clubs would kick off at different times.

As part of the new deal, Sky is also committed to informing match-going supporters of the changes to kick-off times, with each match selected up to September to be confirmed in early July, before all matches are selected from then until the third FA Cup. the round weekend, which tends to fall in early January, will be announced soon after. The current plan will also see all games through March picked by November, with the rest of the season picked more traditionally, in line with the narratives emerging up until that point.

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