The Football League is set to transform the viewing experience for fans of its clubs following the signing of two ground breaking broadcasting agreements with Channel 5 and ITN Productions and the expansion of a fibre-optic network linking its 72 clubs.
For the first time ever, highlights of Sky Bet Football League matches will be shown in a prime time Saturday night slot from the beginning of next season, after the League signed a new three-year agreement for its free-to-air highlights with Channel 5. Match footage, including every single goal, from matches in all three divisions of the Sky Bet Football League will be broadcast in a new 90 minute show aired at 9.00pm every week. Channel 5 will also broadcast highlights of the Capital One Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The Football League’s Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “This is an exceptional opportunity for The Football League to work with a broadcaster that will schedule our matches in a prime time slot. It will take our games to a wider, younger audience by giving us the chance to be first in front of fans on a Saturday night.”
David Lynn, President of Channel 5’s parent company, Viacom International Media Networks UK said: “We are extremely happy to be welcoming back top quality football to such a prominent slot on Channel 5. The Football League is one of the toughest and most attractive club competitions in world football and we’re convinced this highlights package will prove highly popular with a mainstream audience at the heart of our Saturday evening schedule.”
Channel 5 is in the process of tendering the contract to produce its highlights show and will announce its preferred programme production partner in due course.
Match footage will be filmed, edited and delivered by the League’s new production partner ITN Productions. As part of a multi-million pound three-year contract, ITN Productions will cover the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League 1, Sky Bet League 2, Capital One Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy matches – a total of 1,813 games per season across Football League and Premier League grounds. ITN Productions will also produce digital clips and highlights content of The Football League’s competitions for use by domestic broadcasters (Sky Sports & Channel 5), international broadcasters (through Pitch International) and clubs (through their online Player service), as well as clips of Premier League matches for top flight clubs that are part of the League’s FLi network of club websites.
Mark Browning, MD of ITN Productions, said: “This is a transformative moment for ITN Productions and ITN. We are already a key player in UK sports production and now every goal in the Sky Bet Football League, Capital One Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy will be produced by ITN Productions. This is the result of our continued investment in production excellence and fast-turnaround publishing capability along with a world class team.”
The opportunity to broadcast Football League highlights at 9.00pm on a Saturday night has been made possible by the installation of ADI’s high speed Live Venue fibre-optic network that delivers real-time HD match footage to ADI’s Sports Hub operations centre in Preston. All Championship clubs are currently connected to the network with League 1 and League 2 clubs going live by the summer.
The Football League’s Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey said: “The expansion of the fibre-optic network across our clubs represents a significant multi-million pound investment by The Football League into our future broadcasting content strategy. It will deliver new opportunities for supporters to view matches across a range of platforms.”
Geraint Williams, CEO of ADI said “Connecting every stadium to the Live Venue fibre network has been a massive undertaking, but one that will deliver huge value for the viewing audience. One of ADI’s key strengths as a fully independent technical service provider is that we offer a completely rights-agnostic network platform and we are proud to be playing such a pivotal role in transforming the way in which Football League match content is televised. As we continue to develop the services available via Live Venue, we’re incredibly excited about the value we can deliver to all parties involved.”
About The Football League
The Football League is the world’s original league football competition and is the template for leagues the world over. With 72 member clubs, it is also the largest single body of professional clubs in European football and is responsible for administering and regulating the Sky Bet Football League, Capital One Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, as well as reserve and youth football.
About Channel 5
Channel 5 launched as Britain’s fifth public service TV channel in March 1997. It reaches 4 in 5 of the UK viewing public each month with a broad mix of popular content. Sister channels 5*, 5USA and Spike, launching in April 2015,complement Channel 5 with a mix of original commissions and acquired entertainment and U.S. drama, while Demand 5 is a free catch-up service available across multiple platforms and devices. In 2014, Channel 5 was the only major commercial free-to-air network to grow audience share across the most valuable TV audiences. Since September 2014, Channel 5 has been owned by Viacom International Media Networks. For more information follow @Channel5Press on Twitter.
About ITN Productions
ITN Productions is ITN’s in-house production business. We produce creative and commercial content for the broadcast, corporate, commercial, and digital sectors. Clients include ITV, BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky, Smithsonian, A+E, History and Discovery. ITN Productions is a key player in sports production, due to our unrivalled expertise in fast-turnaround for live productions in digital and broadcast. We produce near-live match clips and highlights for News UK (via Sun+ Goals and The Times / Sunday Times online and mobile platforms) of Barclays Premier League, as well as Scottish Professional Football League, Aviva Premiership Rugby, England international cricket, FA Cup, England International football and Tour de France. We also have a major contract with SNTV, the world’s leading sports news video agency, providing thousands of clips per year. ITN Productions produced footage during the 2010 World Cup for ITV Sport.
Grant Philips, current FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League match director, will oversee the live OB element of the project with Simon Potter, former senior director of programming at ESPN, as executive producer.
For more information visit: www.itnproductions.co.uk.
Specialists in large audience communication, ADI are one of Europe’s leading names in sports venue fan engagement platforms. Having installed the first LED screens in UK football in 1997 the company has gone on to dominate the stadium LED market whilst also counting some of the world’s leading sporting events as long term customers.
ADI have been one of the forerunners of stadium broadcast connectivity – their Live Venue broadcast fibre network connects every Premier League and Football League stadium in the UK, allowing ADI to deliver live match feeds and enhanced content to both domestic and international rights holders in federation level contracts.
The Football League
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The Football League
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Head of Press
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