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ESPN+ lands EFL and Carabao Cup US rights extension

Deal with Disney-owned streaming platform covers more than 210 league games and a miniumum of 30 cup matches.

10 August 2022 Rory Jones

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Disney has secured a multi-year extension of its exclusive US broadcast rights agreement for the English Football League (EFL) and the Carabao Cup for the ESPN+ subscription streaming service.

The deal kicks in from the 20222/3 season and covers more than 210 games in total, including 182 fixtures from English soccer’s three professional below the top flight, which is around 50 matches more than under the previous contract. The deal also includes a minimum of 30 Carabao Cup games, which will be available in English and Spanish.

Select matches on subscription service ESPN+ will simulcast on ESPN’s linear channels. ESPN+ will broadcast 147 Championship games during the regular season, as well as all playoff matches from each of the three EFL divisions.

As for the Carabao Cup, ESPN+ will air 15 matches from the first five rounds, both legs of the two semi-finals, and the final. ESPN+ will additionally provide exclusive highlights across the EFL’s leagues and competitions.

“The renewal of EFL and the Carabao Cup rights further demonstrates our commitment to make ESPN+ a must-have for soccer fans in the US,” said Sonia Gomez, senior director for programming and acquisitions at ESPN.

“The EFL, and its storied tradition of tiered competitions, is a bedrock of association football. We are pleased to have this signature property as a part of ESPN+’s ever-expanding soccer portfolio.”

Ben Wright, chief commercial officer at the EFL, added: “The increase in the number of our matches being shown on ESPN+ shows that the demand for EFL content is stronger than ever, with the League competition and Carabao Cup attracting hundreds of millions of viewers across the world.

“We are delighted that supporters throughout the US can enjoy premium coverage whilst following another exhilarating and entertaining EFL season.”

Doubling down on its soccer rights deals, ESPN has also renewed its broadcast partnership for the DFB Pokal, which sees the platform air German soccer’s domestic cup competition until 2026.

At least 40 matches from the tournament will air on ESPN+, including the semi-finals and final, with select games also set to broadcast on the Disney-owned network’s linear channels.

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