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Relevent Sports to acquire EFL media rights for North America

Published: Updated: 11:58, 16 Feb 2024
Relevent Sports have added EFL to their long football portfolio after UCL

New York-based media agency, Relevent Sports, is set to acquire the English Football League (EFL) media rights in North America. The current rights deal for the EFL will expire at the end of the 2023/24 season.

The previous deal was brokered by Pitch International, which transferred the rights in the United States to ESPN. This included broadcasting rights for Championship, League One, League Two games as well as EFL Cup and EFL Trophy matches.

Relevent Sports has a history of creating deals with international sports competitions and clubs in the United States. Starting with their involvement in International Champions Cup deals, they have also played significant roles with LaLiga, UEFA club competitions and Premier League’s recent summer tour.

Relevent Sports are now likely to broker the deal in North America

According to reports, Relevent is now poised to broker future rights deals for EFL broadcasts in North America.

This impending media rights deal extends beyond simply finding a TV or streaming partner for EFL games. As part of this agreement with Relevent Sports, there's an expectation that they will work towards developing the EFL brand and distributing other forms of content across North America.

Relevent's past collaboration with LaLiga could serve as a blueprint here; they entered into a joint venture with Spain's top-flight league to create LaLiga North America which helped propagate their brand through various channels including setting up an academy in South Florida and producing shows available both in English and Spanish for North American audiences.

While nothing is confirmed yet regarding similar plans between Relevent Sports and EFL clubs across both Americas markets are being considered.

EFL clubs are yet to approve the deal for Relevent Sports

Before any work can begin on this new media rights deal between Relevent Sports and EFL clubs must approve it first. Given Relevent's extensive experience in the North American market and the fact that many EFL clubs have American owners, it's likely this won't pose a significant hurdle.

There's no indication yet whether this deal will change the current home for Championship, League One, League Two and EFL Cup matches. Pitch International will retain international media rights to EFL games and has already set up a deal with ESPN for 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons.

Once finalized, Relevent Sports' role will be to find the best broadcast deal for EFL games in the United States.

Starting from 2028/29 season onwards, Premier League will also be involved in organizing overseas broadcasting rights deals alongside EFL. This collaboration is expected to bring major benefits for lower division teams as they would receive 14.75% of net media revenue resulting in solidarity payments from Premier League reaching over $326 million per season. This allows smaller clubs to benefit from Premier League’s global popularity which generates more broadcast revenue than any other league worldwide.

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