Carabao Cup final to be free-to-air as Sky Sports & ITV agree EFL deal

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Carabao Cup final to be free-to-air as Sky Sports & ITV agree EFL deal

Sky Sports and ITV have reached an agreement in principle which will give all UK football fans the chance to watch free-to-air coverage of select Carabao Cup and Championship fixtures.

The new deal starts in January 2025, commencing with the Carabao Cup semi-finals, running until the end of the 2026/27 season and means ITV will jointly broadcast a select number of games also available on Sky Sports.

The new arrangement has also been approved by EFL clubs in accordance with the league’s regulations.

Each full season, ITV will screen at least nine Carabao Cup matches in total, including:

  • one tie from each of the first four rounds
  • one additional tie from either the third or fourth round
  • two quarter-final ties
  • one semi-final tie
  • the final

Additionally, ITV will simulcast 10 matches from the EFL Championship each full season, and five matches in the second half of the 2024/25 season, with the option to flex their selection to matches from League One or League Two.

Sky Sports +, launching in August at no extra cost

Image: Sky Sports +, launching in August at no extra cost

The deal comes as the EFL and Sky Sports kick off their ground-breaking partnership at the start of the 2024/25 season, with over 1,000 matches every season broadcast live – four times as many matches as now and all 72 teams featured over 20 times a season.

This huge number of games will be brought to sports fans via Sky Sports+ which comprises multiple live streams, a new dedicated channel, and a revamped Sky Sports mobile app, all at no extra cost for Sky Sports subscribers.

EFL clubs will enjoy unprecedented exposure as a result, and the additional reach of ITV from 2025 ensures more of the action from the League will be available to broader audiences and millions of football fans.

As part of ITV’s long-standing partnership with the EFL, it will also be extending its existing EFL highlights deal, beginning at the start of the forthcoming 2024/25 season, by broadcasting 55 highlights programmes per season.

These matches and highlights will be shown across ITV1 and ITV4, with simultaneous streaming and on-demand viewing available on ITVX.

Scan the QR code to download the Sky Sports app!

Image: Scan the QR code to download the Sky Sports app!

Jonathan Licht, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This momentous upcoming season of over 1,000 matches from the EFL on Sky Sports+ shows our huge ambition and increased dedication to the EFL and its supporters.

“Working with a free-to-air broadcaster isn’t new for us and many of our partners, as we endeavour to help grow and broaden audiences for sports.

“With ITV set to simulcast a select number of matches from the EFL from 2025 alongside Sky Sports full coverage, it means that millions of football fans in the UK will be able to enjoy plenty of action from the Cup and League, boosting the exposure for clubs which is great news for all.”

Sky Sports +, launching in August at no extra cost

Image: Sky Sports +, launching in August at no extra cost

Niall Sloane, ITV director of sport, said: “This deal brings viewers free-to-air coverage of top-level knockout football over the coming years, as well as standout matches from the EFL, adding regular live matches to our highlights shows. We’re looking forward to bringing fans some superb action and insight from this new, fuller EFL package across the next few seasons.”

Trevor Birch, the EFL’s chief executive officer, said: “We’re delighted to continue a long-standing relationship with ITV, in partnership with Sky Sports, to deliver an added showcasing of the best of the EFL to a wider audience.

“We want the EFL to be accessible to as many audiences as possible, and this extra offering, with no additional subscription required, only enhances our reputation. I’d like to thank both organisations for their ongoing support and genuine commitment to all EFL competitions.”

Sky is the undisputed home for sports fans in the UK, with more top-quality sport than anywhere else. Record audiences tuned in to Sky Sports in 2023 and with key rights secured until the end of the decade, sports fans can access more of the sports they love than ever before.

For instant, contract-free access to all Sky Sports channels, non-Sky subscribers can purchase a NOW Sports Day or Month Membership. From August, this will also include every single live Sky Sports+ stream and on-demand catch-up content.

This new deal adds to ITV’s portfolio of first-class sport events, which also includes the forthcoming UEFA EURO 2024 tournament, Horse Racing, Six Nations rugby, England Men football international qualifiers, Nations League and friendly matches returning in Autumn 2024, England Women football matches, the FA Cup, La Liga, the Tour de France, the NFL, the Investec Champions Cup, Gallagher Premiership Rugby and, in motorsport, Extreme E, British Touring Car Championships and MotoGP, SailGP, plus major competitions in snooker and darts.

How to watch your EFL team live on Sky at least 20 times next season

Watch your EFL team more than 20 times a season from August

Image: Watch your EFL team more than 20 times a season from August

Championship, League One or League Two fan? Your team will be live on Sky Sports at least 20 times next season!

Matches will be broadcast live across existing Sky Sports channels or on the brand-new Sky Sports+, at no extra cost.

Find out more here…

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