Advanced Television

IMG to enhance EFL broadcast and streaming offering

April 16, 2024

By Nik Roseveare

The English Football League (EFL) and IMG have announced a deal which will see IMG deliver a major upgrade to the EFL’s broadcast and streaming output over the next five seasons.

With record domestic and international broadcast deals in place from the 2024/25 season until 2028/29, the EFL says it is committing to an increased audio-visual production which will see more cameras at every broadcast Sky Bet EFL fixture, enhanced commentary facilities, new in-game graphics and improved features to deliver a premium experience for viewers at home and abroad.

Domestically, 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. From its dedicated EFL production centre at Stockley Park, 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 (1,698 in total) which will be utilised outside of the UK by EFL rights holders Pitch International and Relevent Sports, who will distribute the premium broadcast feed across the world. Clubs will also be able to offer the elevated output via their own international streaming services to fans of EFL Clubs outside of the UK.

Multi-Camera Offering

The major change fans will see is increased camera setups across every division 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.

Enhanced production value

IMG’s enhanced production capabilities will also offer enhanced post-match highlights packages for partners and clubs. Outside of Sky Sports’ main TV selections, all broadcasts will also feature enriched in-game graphics, alongside features including recaps and highlights from the live match plus games from earlier kick-offs.

EFL Chief Commercial Officer, Ben Wright, commented: “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, added: “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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