DAZN Bidding To Broadcast Every EFL Game Live
DAZN has announced that they are bidding to broadcast all The English Football League Championship (EFL) matches live, ending England’s long-standing 3pm blackout rule.
DAZN’s main imprint in the UK has been with boxing, but that could change should they beat Sky Sports and Viaplay to take on the football league from 2024.
If the bidding is successful, DAZN wants to show all 1656 matches live from across the Championship, League One, and League Two.
This could have huge implications on English football, with a long-standing ‘blackout rule’ meaning no games can be televised on Saturday afternoons to help attendances at lower league grounds.
Under the current TV deal, 200 Premier League matches are shown across Sky, BT Sport and Amazon Prime, while Sky also broadcast 138 EFL games.
DAZN holds existing rights to Serie A in Italy, while they have made in-roads with Champions League and domestic coverage in Germany and Spain.
DAZN have also expressed an interest in competing for Premier League rights, which chief executive Shay Segev revealed in February.
“Football is obviously very big in the UK, and EPL is an option on our menu,” Segev said.
“If the question is, do we have any ambition to go to this market, the answer is, of course, yes. And it’s not only ambition, it’s a high priority on my list,” he said.
EFL board members will have a tough decision on their hands, balancing the income from TV revenue with a potential loss of matchday sales, while the call may result in 3pm Premier League games also being broadcast.
The idea of ending the 3pm blackout was last discussed in October 2022, with reports the EFL were inviting bids from streaming platforms such as YouTube and Netflix in the hope of sealing a deal close to £200m, up from the £119m Sky pay.
Many fans have long complained that the blackout rule is outdated, but no studies have have concluded whether or not there would be a serious impact on EFL attendances if a change is made.
The announcement comes after DAZN announced that it has partnered with Virgin Media O2.