The Pitch International and Relevent sports marketing agencies have both secured a share of the international media rights distribution and sales process for the next four years of the second-tier English Football League (EFL).

The EFL has said that the deals – with the body taking on two partners for the first time – entail record guaranteed international rights fees for the cycle beginning next season (2024-25) and running through 2027-28. The governing body has said the deals have been struck after full and comprehensive tender processes, (beginning in October) which had the aim of assessing how to provide “additional strategic value in key markets.”

This deal represents a significant coup for US-based Relevent, as it has taken a slice out of rights exclusively held during the 2018-24 cycle by Pitch.

Boris Gartner, Relevent Sports’ president, has commented on the tie-up: “As the EFL’s popularity continues to grow globally, we are thrilled to be partnering on this landmark rights agreement for the distribution of international football in the Americas. We are confident that Relevent’s expertise in co-investing with our partners will deliver a fantastic viewing experience and will drive new fans to the EFL.”

In a new tie-up for the 72-club EFL, Relevent has snapped up distribution rights for the three-tier EFL across North, Central, and South America, and the EFL has said the duo will work together "to build member clubs’ profile in this key region via a dedicated marketing partnership.”

Pitch, meanwhile, will distribute EFL action across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa (MENA), as well as ‘the rest of the world’ regions. This continues the long-standing relationship between that agency and the EFL, which has been in place for 15 years.

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The last deal between Pitch and the EFL for these rights came in June 2022.

Both deals are for media rights to the second-tier Championship, third-tier League One, and fourth-tier League Two, running through 2027-28. They also cover rights to the EFL’s own knockout cup competitions, as well as to the end-of-season playoffs.

Pitch, through the deal, will distribute “155 Championship matches, 38 League One and Two matches, all Play-Off matches, all Carabao Cup matches and three Bristol Street Motor Trophy matches,” as well as a comprehensive betting rights package. Relevent, meanwhile, now has the ability to sell rights to all EFL regular season league games, all playoff fixtures, all Carabao Cup games and three Bristol Street Motors Trophy matches.”

That agency has also secured betting rights, but in this case only throughout the US.

As part of these new deals for the next cycle, the English soccer body has said clubs will be able to keep covering games via their own overseas streaming services – in territories where an exclusive broadcast partner is not found.

Domestic rights to EFL action for the next cycle – 2024-25 to 2028-29 – are held by pay-TV heavyweight Sky Sports, in a deal unveiled in May last year.

Trevor Birch, chief executive at the EFL, has said: “In Pitch and Relevent we have two partners with an in-depth understanding of the global TV rights markets, and that knowledge, coupled with the enthusiasm of their teams, will hopefully ensure we achieve our objective of delivering value to clubs alongside taking EFL football to as wide an audience as possible outside the UK.”

Henri Kamerling, Pitch’s managing director of football, added: “The EFL has always been a highly valued and integral part of our business, so we are delighted to be continuing our partnership with them for another four-year cycle. We will continue to work with the league and its clubs to deliver the best broadcast coverage.”

Following the end of the coming international rights cycle in 2028, the EFL could bundle its rights in with the Premier League, following proposals to do so in September.

Relevent, meanwhile, also covers US media rights sales for the lucrative UEFA pan-European club soccer competitions.