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Bolton Wanderers CEO raises concerns over new EFL TV deal

The new EFL deal will kickoff from 2024/25 season and is worth £935 million

The new EFL broadcasting deal has been making big noises since its announcement and now Bolton Wanderers' chief executive has jumped into the ship to throw his view.

With a £935 million EFL deal to kick off in 2024/25, all divisions of English football are expected to benefit. The agreement guarantees that more than 1,000 games will be aired on television and streamed through various platforms under the new deal.

It will also provide financial exposure to teams such as Bolton since five Championship games as well as five games from League One and League Two will be shown or streamed each week.

In a recent interview with The Bolton News, Bolton Wanderers chief executive Neil Hart discussed this new deal saying: 

“There is a credible partner in Sky, which is the best partner who have been covering the league for 20-odd years.

“Things won’t change this season, we are as we are for 2023/24. It will kick in for 24/25 and it is a five-year deal.

“It will bring some changes in the way games are broadcasted. And, clearly, we would benefit more if we were in the Championship.

“I think we do very well with iFollow at the moment, so I am less convinced that we will benefit quite as much as a League One club. But there is a secondary benefit – even if we stay in this division – and that is we will be on Sky more, so that gives us more exposure to sponsors, commercial partners, and allow us to lift those values.”

According to Hart, clubs with extra financial motivation will now put in maximum effort to achieve promotion. However, he is concerned about deal deals hindering Saturday afternoon games. He said:

“All in all I think it is a good deal,” he said. “I think the fans might have to get their heads around some of the scheduling. Kick off times will change, and I think there is a Thursday and a Monday slot for League One, which will be very different.

“But as someone who worked at a Premier League club before coming here, for eight years, you kind of get used to that. You go with it because you see the value of it.

“Of course it is not always convenient, going down to Spurs on a Monday night, but overall I think it is a positive for football. It secures the next five years for the EFL and the money is really good.

“There will be more broadcasting and streaming opportunities, so I think it is a positive step.”

Bolton Wanderers will also relaunch its own streaming service for next season with the introduction of Wanderers TV. 

Hart, however, clarified that the new deal is unlikely to affect the club's streaming services much. Hart said:

“The important thing to note is that this is a domestic broadcast deal, not an international one, and it doesn’t stop us continuing to broadcast internationally,” he added.

“We have a huge number of Bolton fans and supporters’ groups around the world, and all of them will still be able to stream the game via Wanderers TV even as part of this broadcast deal.”

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