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MediaTel Staff 

BSkyB Secures Football Rights

BSkyB has secured the television rights to The Football League Championship and Football League Cup from the start of next season.

Under a five year deal, starting in August 1996, Sky will broadcast up to 60 Football League matches exclusively live each season, featuring clubs from all three divisions. In addition, all three end-of-season promotion play offs at Wembley Stadium will be broadcast live for the first time.

The Football League Cup will be shown live from the First Round for the first time, with Sky Television offering at least one live tie from each round and exclusively live coverage of the Final at Wembley Stadium.

Gordon McKeag, President of the Football League, said, "This is the most important deal ever secured by the Football League ... it will provide an important source of income - independent of other governing bodies - and will allow us to enter into discussions with the Football Association and FA Premier League from an independent standpoint. Following months of uncertainty surrounding the Football League's revenue and its very existence, this deal is very welcome."

The deal is the most lucrative in financial terms ever for the Football League, according to Lee Walker, Controller of Broadcasting at the Football League.

Sky currently has contracts to broadcast the FA Premier League, (60 games exclusively live each season), the FA Cup (at least one tie and one replay exclusively live from the 1st round to the semi-finals), and every England international from Wembley Stadium (exclusively live). Sky also holds rights to the following Scottish football tournaments, the Scottish League, the Scottish League Cup, and the Scottish FA Cup.

However today's announcement comes just one day after BSkyB's defeat against the BBC for snooker coverage. (Newsline 27/11/95) Despite Murdoch's higher financial offer, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association signed a deal with the BBC for fear of losing sponsors.

Sky: 0171 705 3000

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