Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Sunderland AFC’s fixture schedule is set for an exciting overhaul as the club’s matches have been rescheduled to accommodate live TV broadcasts under a new deal between the EFL and Sky Sports.

Short Summary:

  • Significant increase in live broadcasted matches.
  • New broadcasting platform, Sky Sports+.
  • Extended financial benefits for Sunderland AFC.

The landscape of watching Sunderland AFC and other EFL teams is about to experience a groundbreaking shift. With a new five-year deal between the EFL and Sky Sports coming into effect, Sunderland fans can look forward to having more games broadcast live than ever before. The schedule for the Championship season has already been set in motion, with games from the inaugural weekend of the season ready to be aired live.

What’s Actually Changing?

For Sunderland supporters, this means a substantial increase in the number of matches available to watch on television. Sky Sports has pledged to broadcast five Championship matches each weekend, avoiding the traditional Saturday 3pm blackout time. Additionally, five games across League One and League Two will be broadcast over the weekend, accessible via Sky Sports channels or streamed on TV and mobile platforms. A significant portion of these games will be scheduled in the Saturday 12.30pm slot, as well as the customary Friday night and Sunday lunchtime slots.

Moreover, every midweek and bank holiday fixture will be broadcast live, along with matches on both the opening and final days of the campaign. This new deal ensures that 56% of EFL fixtures, up from the previous 13%, will be broadcast across the season. Sunderland fans can also expect early notifications regarding which fixtures will be shown on TV. In line with this, Sky Sports aims to announce all TV picks before the FA Cup third round weekend, providing ample time for fans to make arrangements.

Further commitments from the EFL and Sky Sports aim to distribute TV broadcasts evenly among clubs to ensure fair representation. Each Championship club, including Sunderland, is anticipated to appear on TV around 24 times per season. This includes midweek and bank holiday fixtures.

Introducing Sky Sports+

Sky Sports is also launching a new channel, Sky Sports+, which will become the cornerstone for broadcasting EFL matches. Existing Sky Sports subscribers will gain automatic access to this channel, available on platforms like NOW TV and via a revamped mobile app. Sky Sports+ has the capability to stream up to 100 live events concurrently, complete with pause and rewind functions for viewers.

“The revamped Sky Sports app will also become the ultimate home of sports streaming on mobile devices with Sky Sports+ streams accessible via event centres in the app. New personalisation features will help fans follow their favourite teams and competitions more easily. An improved multi-sports scores section will offer fixtures, live scores and an extended view beyond the usual seven-day football calendar. Refreshed design and navigation, including a much-requested dark mode will improve usability,” Sky Sports revealed in a statement.

Financial Windfall for Sunderland

Although exact figures are to be confirmed, the EFL projects a 46% increase in financial remuneration for Sunderland and its peers in the Championship. Under the current agreement, the EFL disburses around £8.5 million per Championship club annually, split between solidarity payments and basic award payments. The new deal aims to enhance the basic award payment, directly boosting each club’s revenue. Furthermore, Sunderland will continue to receive a ‘facility fee’—currently about £75,000 per televised fixture—a component that will be reassessed amongst clubs before the new agreement becomes active.

Impact on Streaming Services

This new agreement marks the end of the iFollow streaming system utilised by most EFL clubs for domestic viewers. However, Sunderland has maintained its own streaming platform, ensuring international fans will continue to have access. While domestic streaming will undergo changes, existing arrangements for international broadcasting will remain unaffected.

Changing Schedules

Sky Sports has disclosed the fixtures for August and September to be shown live, which includes Sunderland’s clash with Sheffield Wednesday on August 18 and the Wear-Tees derby against Middlesbrough on September 21. These rescheduling efforts ensure that fans receive ample notification and that each EFL club will feature in at least three live broadcasts during this period.

Some key fixtures for Sunderland include:

  • Sunday, August 18: Sunderland vs Sheffield Wednesday – kick-off 12pm
  • Saturday, September 21: Sunderland vs Middlesbrough – kick-off 12:30pm

For more comprehensive details and updates, fans can check out GamblingNews.co.uk. This ensures that the news remains current while also providing additional resources for Sunderland supporters.

Conclusion

The new TV deal between the EFL and Sky Sports spells a monumental change for Sunderland AFC and their supporters, ushering in an era where live broadcasts will be more frequent and comprehensive, enhancing the overall viewing experience. Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to official announcements and updates as the season progresses.

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