ESPN+ extends U.S. media rights to English Football League and the Carabao Cup

ESPN+ has reached an exclusive, multi-year extension in the United States for exclusive media rights to the English Football League (EFL) and the Carabao Cup, the knockout competition for all of England’s Premier League and EFL clubs beginning in the 2022-2023 season. The agreement brings at least 182 English Football League matches, about 50 matches more than in the previous season, and at least 30 Carabao Cup matches in English and Spanish to ESPN+. Select ESPN+ matches will simulcast on ESPN television networks.

The deal grants ESPN+ exclusive rights in the United States to more than 182 English Football League matches live, an increase from 125. Highlights:

  • 147 Sky Bet Championship regular season matches
  • 20 Sky Bet League One and League Two regular season matches
  • All 12 Sky Bet Play-Off Semi-Final (matches for promotion across the three tiers of competition Championship, League One, and League Two)
  • All three Sky BetPlay-Off Final matches for the Championship, League One and League Two.
  • As part of the agreement, ESPN+ will be the exclusive U.S. media home for the Carabao Cup featuring 30 matches across the competition: 25 matches in Rounds One to Five, four home-and-away Semi-Finals and the Wembley Final. ESPN+ will also livestream three EFL Trophy (Papa Johns Trophy) matches – two Semi-Finals and Final – in the knockout competition for the 48 EFL League One and League Two clubs and, 16 Premier League U21 sides. In addition, ESPN+ will be the exclusive home for EFL highlights programs across the Championship, League One, League Two and the Carabao Cup 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 U.S.,” said Sonia Gomez, ESPN senior director for programming and acquisitions. “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, EFL Chief Commercial Officer said: “The EFL continues to be one of the world’s top football competitions, with vast appeal both at home and globally. 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 U.S. can enjoy premium coverage whilst following another exhilarating and entertaining EFL season.”

What is the English Football League?

The English Football League comprises 72 clubs from England and Wales split into three tiers – Championship, League One, and League Two – with 24 clubs competing in each division. At the conclusion of the season, top clubs in each division earn promotion, while the lowest-placed teams are relegated to the lower tier. Founded in 1888, the EFL is the oldest Association football competition in the world.

The Carabao Cup, commonly known as the League Cup, the knockout football competition features the 92 teams in England’s top four divisions – Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two. The first League Cup was played during the 1960-61 season. Liverpool FC, the 2022 Carabao Cup winners, leads all clubs with nine trophies.

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