A mouth-watering 19 Sky Bet EFL matches will be screened live in December as part of a festive football feast on Sky Sports.A mouth-watering 19 Sky Bet EFL matches will be screened live in December as part of a festive football feast on Sky Sports.
The televised matches kick-off with QPR hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers on Thursday 1st December before Sky Bet Championship promotion favourites Newcastle United make the trip down the A1 to Nottingham Forest. Rafael Benitez’s side will be looking for a repeat of the last time the two sides met in 2011 when the Magpies knocked Forest out of the EFL Cup 4-3.
In what is the most wonderful time of the year for fans of the EFL, the opening weekend of the yuletide calendar sees two of the league’s highest profile clubs, Leeds United and Aston Villa, go head-to-head in front of the cameras. It’s their first meeting in almost 13 years and both sides will looking for some early Christmas cheer going into the busiest month of the campaign.
Sheffield Wednesday take a trip north to Newcastle United on Boxing Day evening with The Owls hoping to secure their first league win at St James’ Park for 20 years, although they did knock the Magpies out the EFL Cup on Tyneside last season.
The last televised match of 2016 sees Brentford play host to Norwich City at 5:30pm on New Year’s Eve, with the Canaries hoping they can get a repeat of the 3-0 victory they recorded last time the two sides met in the Championship at Griffin Park.
December 2016 also heralds the return of the successful ‘10 in 10’ which sees back-to-back Sky Bet EFL matches screened exclusively live. It starts at Brighton’s Amex Stadium on 9th December and the Sky cameras will then travel almost 1500 miles over a 10-day period before ending with QPR versus Aston Villa on 18th December.
Highlights of this season’s ‘10 in 10’ include high flying Huddersfield Town’s visit to Norwich City and the East Midlands derby between Derby County and Nottingham Forest. Sky Bet League One clubs are also represented with Bolton versus Gillingham on Monday 12th December before Coventry City versus Sheffield United 72 hours later on Thursday 15th December.
The increase in live coverage is once again expected to have a positive impact on attendances across the course of the month. Last season’s December fixtures attracted 1.8 million fans through the turnstiles and the EFL’s 72 clubs will looking to break that figure in 2016.
Shaun Harvey, EFL CEO said: “League football has long been a much loved staple of the festive period and we’re confident that December’s TV selections will once again provide a unique platform for friends and families up and down the country to get together and watch their favourite their favourite EFL team.
“We are also delighted to welcome back ‘10 in 10’. It’s a campaign that in its debut season proved to be hugely successful and once again it gives us a real opportunity to focus on showcasing the very best of what the EFL has to offer.
“As a result of the heightened TV exposure 12 months ago, over 1.8million people passed through an EFL turnstile and with this year’s fantastic line-up of fixtures we are hoping to top that number. We will be working closely with all of our clubs and our broadcast partner Sky Sports to make that happen.”
Sky Sports Head of Football Gary Hughes said: “We're very excited to offer fans 19 live matches from the English Football League in December, including 10 in 10, which was a great success last season. The festive period can be one of the most pivotal in the season and our customers can see it all unfold live on Sky Sports.”
Full list of EFL games selected for TV coverage:
Thursday 1st Dec: QPR v Wolverhampton Wanderers - 7.45pm
Friday 2nd Dec: Nottingham Forest v Newcastle United - 7.45pm
Saturday 3rd Dec: Leeds United v Aston Villa - 5.30pm
Start of 10 in 10
Friday 9th Dec: Brighton v Leeds - 7.45pm
Saturday 10th Dec: Preston North End v Blackburn Rovers - 5.30pm
Sunday 11th Dec: Derby County v Nottingham Forest - 12.00pm
Monday 12th Dec: Bolton Wanderers v Gillingham - 7:45pm
Tuesday 13th Dec: Norwich City v Aston Villa - 7:45pm
Wednesday 14th Dec: Wigan Athletic v Newcastle United - 7:45pm
Thursday 15th Dec: Coventry City v Sheffield United - 7:45pm
Friday 16th Dec: Norwich City v Huddersfield Town - 7:45pm
Saturday 17th Dec: Birmingham City v Brighton - 5.30pm
Sunday 18th Dec: QPR v Aston Villa - TBC (Lunchtime)
Monday 26th Dec: Newcastle United v Sheffield Wednesday - 7.45pm
Tuesday 27th Dec: Brighton v QPR - 12.30pm
Tuesday 27th Dec: Derby County v Birmingham City - 3.00pm
Thursday 29th Dec: Aston Villa v Leeds United - 7:45pm
Saturday 31st Dec: Brentford v Norwich City - 5:30pm
Monday 2nd Jan: Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United - 3.00pm
TV Games: Click here to see the full list of TV games announced to date
Remaining TV Selection Dates 2016/17 (Illustrative but subject to five-week commitment):
- Clubs notified of selections for remainder of January by 30 October;
- Clubs notified of selections for February by 30 November;
- Clubs notified of selections for first week in March on Monday 9 January following FA Cup Third Round;
- From 1 February, 2017 a five-week rolling selection commences for matches up to and including the penultimate weekend;
- Clubs notified of selections for the final day made following the completion of the penultimate round of matches.