How the EFL's controversial new Sky TV deal could affect Sunderland

The EFL have agreed a new five-year deal for television rights with Sky - and it could affect Sunderland.

Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 10:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 11:19 am
The new Sky TV deal could have an impact on Sunderland

The new deal was announced yesterday after weeks of speculation, and has Championship clubs up in arms ahead of a summit of second tier clubs today.

And the deal could have implications for Sunderland once it kicks-in next season, especially if the Black Cats can seal promotion.

Here's everything you need to know about the deal and how it could affect the Black Cats:

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What is the new deal proposing?

The new deal is a five-year agreement, worth £595million and covering all three of the EFL's divisions and their cup competitions.

Under the agreement, Sky Sports will broadcast 138 Sky Bet EFL League matches; the 15 Sky Bet EFL Play-Off matches including all three Finals; 15 matches from the Carabao Cup including the Final; and the Semi-Final and Final of the Checkatrade Trophy.

EFL Interim Chair, Debbie Jevans, said that the "the EFL Board is satisfied that the right deal for the EFL and its Clubs has been reached" - but Championship clubs seem to disagree.

How many clubs are against it and why are they against it?

Reports suggest that as many as 21 second tier sides are opposed to the new deal, feeling that the league have undervalued the product on offer.

They also believe that a five-year deal is far too long at a time when the landscape of sports broadcasting, especially in regards to live-streaming games online, is changing rapidly.

Leeds, Derby and Aston Villa are thought to be leading the opposition against the deal, which has even led to rumours of a breakaway division.

What could the deal mean for Sunderland financially?

A lot will depend on whether the Black Cats are promoted back to the Championship in time for the 2019/20 season, when the contract is set to begin.

If they are, then the club is set to receive their cut of the £119million per year television fee - which will see each Championship club receive a minimum payment of around £3million. Additional revenue is then available when games are selected to be televised which can see clubs rake in a sizeable amount.

This will naturally be a rise from the revenue that the Black Cats are set to receive this year in League One, but second tier clubs still feel this is not enough - especially when compared to the top flight television agreements.

Sunderland's executive director Charlie Methven has previously spoken about how this revenue could benefit the club should they gain promotion.

“If we get up the Championship we think our revenue base would be about £30million, as TV money is higher,” he said, speaking before the new deal was agreed.

“That would actually be one of the highest when you don’t factor in parachute payments, which, as we know, doesn’t always go straight into the pot.

“They’re there for a reason, to make up for a multitude of sins racked up in the Premier League. You have to use them pretty wisely or as some clubs have found, you can end up crashing down pretty hard.”

Is a breakaway league, such as Premier League 2, an option?

The Black Cats would naturally be affected if Championship clubs opted to form a breakaway league in protest at the EFL's decision.

While this is seen as a radical and highly-unlikely option, there has been talk in the past that second tier clubs could breakaway and form 'Premier League 2'.

What happens next?

Discussions are taking place between all 24 Championship clubs at Villa Park today as they plans their next steps of action - with legal action a suggested possibility.

Much will remain unclear for Sunderland for the time being, although any potential effects may become clearer after today's meeting of Championship clubs as they look to put the pressure on the EFL and chief executive Shaun Harvey.