Sky Sports has announced that it will stream midweek Championship matches live after the media corporation announced a new lucrative five-year deal with the English Football League.
The telecommunications giant revealed the news of the agreement worth £600m on its own website on Tuesday morning.
The new deal, which will begin when the 2019/2020 season kicks off, means that Sky will be able to stream 80 midweek games from the Championship live on its interactive and digital platforms for the first time ever, while all EFL clubs will be able to stream clashes via their own websites if the match is not broadcast live on Sky's football dedicated channel.
Sky now have the ability to showcase 183 matches exclusively each season from the Championship, League One, League Two, the Carabao Cup and the Checkatrade Trophy - a 26% increase in the number of matches shown with the current TV rights deal.
Barney Francis, Sky Sports' managing director, explained how the announcement "strengthened Sky's service with our customers" as news of the deal broke.
He said: "This is great news for EFL fans and our viewers, with more live games than ever before and more opportunities for fans to watch their teams live.
This will kill attendances and atmosphere, congrats Sky! 👏👏👏— Richard (@dickvandyke92) September 12, 2017
"With a new dedicated football channel, newly enhanced digital platforms, adding more games means Sky Sports is getting even better for football fans.
"Viewing of live EFL games grew by 12 per cent year-on-year last season, and is up a further seven per cent so far this season. Fans value our live EFL coverage and we are delighted to be able to offer even more in the coming years."
EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey mirrored those sentiments as he expressed his own delight at the new agreement.
Sky killing it for die hard fans that go every game. This is why attendances are dropping and clubs aren't gaining enough income.— Cliffie97 🏴🦁 (@cliffie777) September 12, 2017
He added: "Sky Sports has for many years been a hugely important and valued partner of the EFL and we are delighted to extend our relationship by a further five years.
"I would like to thank all those who submitted bids and we now look forward to working with the Sky Sports team as they cement their position as the broadcast home of live EFL matches."
The existing deal between Sky and the EFL had been worth £88.3m per season, and that figure will grow to £120m when the new agreement comes into effect in two years' time.