MATCH-GOING supporters of EFL clubs have been assured they will be given plenty of notice around changes to kick-off times, with more than 1,000 matches in all EFL competitions set to be shown live under its new deal with Sky Sports.

The EFL announced just over a year ago that it had signed a contract worth a total of £935m with the broadcaster to start in 2024-25 and run to the end of the 2028-29 season.

It was confirmed today that each Championship club will be featured on either one of Sky’s regular sports channels or its new Sky Sports+ platform a minimum of 24 times, with those in Leagues One and Two appearing at least 20 times.

This will include every match being broadcast live on the opening and closing weekends of the season, all midweek and Bank Holiday games plus League One and Two matches during international breaks. All Carabao Cup and Bristol Street Motors Trophy matches will also be shown live, with 1,059 matches set to be shown live in total.

The EFL and Sky have pledged that broadcast selections up to the end of September will be confirmed within seven days of 2024-25 fixtures being announced this summer, and that supporters will know before the start of the season about any changes to kick-off times prior to FA Cup third round weekend in January. By November 1 they will know about selections through to the first weekend in March.

The notice period for selections will then be four weeks in advance during the run-in.

The EFL said that for League One and Two clubs, at least 16 of their 20 minimum appearances would not involve a change in kick-off time, while at least 11 of a Championship club’s minimum 24 appearances would involve no change.

Under the deal, 832 EFL matches per season will not be broadcast – 26 out of 36 fixtures on a regular weekend.

For the first time all 36 EFL matches on the opening and final rounds in each division will be broadcast live.

Sky said there would be four live matches on Friday, August 9, all kicking off at 8pm, featuring two from the Championship and one game each from League One and League Two.

On Saturday August 10 a further eight Championship games will go out live, 11 from League One and 11 from League Two. Which division occupies which slot is still to be decided, but the slots are expected to be 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm. The final two Championship openers will be played on Sunday, August 11.

UEFA Article 48, which is used in English football to create a ‘blackout’ on live coverage between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on Saturdays, only applies when 50 per cent of matches in the top two divisions are being played, which is why 11 EFL matches will be available to screen live on August 10.

The Sky Sports+ platform replaces the EFL’s iFollow streaming service. On a regular weekend ten matches will be shown live, including seven at 12.30pm on a Saturday, with a three-two-two split between the Championship, League One and League Two.

The EFL said the annual domestic broadcast revenue for its 72 clubs is currently £119m a year, plus £7m from domestic streaming. Under the new deal, that total income rises to £180m.