BAMTech secures US rights deal for EFL

Streaming platform also partners with ESPN to cover English soccer leagues.

BAMTech secures US rights deal for EFL

BAMTech, the live streaming specialist spun off from Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), has reached an agreement with the English Football League (EFL) to provide coverage of the EFL Championship in the US.

The company, which is part-owned by MLB, Disney and the National Hockey League (NHL), has also done a separate deal with ESPN which will see the cable broadcaster provide fans in the US with live transmissions of games from EFL Championship, EFL League One, EFL League Two - the second, third and fourth tiers of English club soccer - and the Carabao Cup knockout competition throughout the 2017/18 season.

Earlier reports had inaccurately suggested that BeIN Sports had renewed its agreement to cover the EFL in the States, but it has now been confirmed that BAMTech has beaten the global broadcaster to secure the rights. The number of games included in the rights package was not disclosed.

The news comes after the recent launch of iFollow, a new platform which offers legal streams of every participating club’s home and away league games to viewers around the world, outside of the UK and Ireland. The EFL teams yet to sign up to the service are Accrington Stanley, Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Bristol City, Charlton Athletic, Derby County, Fulham, Hull City, Forest Green Rovers, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Queens Park Rangers, Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Speaking about the EFL’s 166 global rights deals for the forthcoming season, Shaun Harvey, chief executive of the EFL, said: “This is great news for both clubs and their supporters, wherever they may be in the world. We are delighted to see the increased appetite from existing and new partners for our competitions and that can only serve us well for the future.”

The EFL kicks off again this weekend, and gets underway on 4th August, with Derby County travelling to Sunderland in the opening game of the 2017/18 Championship season.