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Sky Sports Extend Football League Rights

Leeds celebrate victory

Hot on the heels of the news that Sky had paid almost £5 billion on the rights to secure Premier League football coverage into 2019, the company have moved to ease fears of a further gulf between the nations first and second leagues by extending their current TV rights deal with the Football league and securing their broadcasting agreement until the 2018/2019 season. Unlike the Premier League rights auction, however, this was not sold in a blind auction, but was instead negotiated with the league directly as part of an option in Sky's pre-existing contract.

The agreement, across its four initial seasons, will be the most lucrative in the Football League's history with 148 games per season from the Football League being broadcast each year. That includes all the leagues from Championship to League 2 along with Capital One Cup games and Johnstone's Paint Trophy being broadcast on Sky Sports along with highlights and clips from the competitions. The deal also allows Sky to offer Football League content across broadband, Sky on Demand and through mobile services.

However, Sky have not disclosed the financial information behind the deal, but it comes at a time when football fans have been in outcry over the disparity between the top two leagues of the UK. The Premier League under its latest deal means that each televised game is worth around £11 million to each club involved. That makes the smallest team in the Premier League, Burnley, a bigger side than Ajax, one of the most important clubs in the world. Meanwhile, under the old deal between Sky and the Football League, a televised game would be worth £500,000, which would often cause the teams to make a loss, as many fans stayed at home to watch on the TV. Naturally, this caused plenty of unrest with fans crowding the Sky free contact number to protest the ludicrous state of affairs.

This disparity has been used to explain the incredible difficulty that freshly promoted sides face in remaining in the league, playing against teams who are so moneyed that they're floated on the stock market and teams who have been flooded with money for a decade. Indeed, teams that get relegated from the Premier League receive hefty parachute payments to help them 'adjust' to the league below, which often means that they're once again much more wealthy than the other teams in the league, leading to a very wonky situation indeed.

Still, with this new deal in place the Sky tel number should be safe from angry fans, and the 72 clubs which occupy those leagues should find a greater degree of financial stability in very financially unstable times. This news, however, will likely come at the expense of BT, who were reportedly looking at picking up the rights and increasing coverage, which would make the channel the go-to location for any football fan whose team doesn't currently reside in the upper echelons of the top tier.

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