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Club News

PUSB: 'From The Board' versus Huddersfield Town

26 September 2023

Club News

PUSB: 'From The Board' versus Huddersfield Town

26 September 2023

After each matchday programme this season, we publish the regular column from the Coventry City board on our website. You can read Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy's column from our game against Huddersfield Town below:

Good evening and welcome to the Coventry Building Society Arena for today’s game against Huddersfield Town.

I would also like to extend that welcome to the players, staff, officials and supporters who join us here from Huddersfield for the match this evening.

Today’s game is a Sky Sports fixture, which has seen it move from a Saturday afternoon slot over to a Monday evening one. This is a change which is also happening for our game against West Bromwich Albion at the end of October too.

When fixtures are selected for TV coverage it is something that helps further to raise the profile of our Club and also enables fans who are not able to get to the Arena, for a number of different reasons, the opportunity to watch the Sky Blues in action.

This additional revenue for the Club through the facility fee we receive for the game being broadcast, however on some occasions a TV selection can result in a reduced attendance – which obviously has a negative effect on revenue. For tonight’s game, we also took the decision to change the ticket price category from Category B to Category C.

We are informed of the decision to select a fixture for television around 3 or 4 days before the selection is announced. While we are able to offer our ‘observations’ on the viability of the fixture and the choices between Friday night/Saturday lunchtime or evening/Sunday or Monday night, it is not something that we can reject or have any influence over.  

We do appreciate that these changes in fixtures do create disruption for supporters, who plan their lives around fixtures, and for the Football Club too as we have to adjust our training schedules and staff schedules. Fans have spoken about their own concerns about bringing young supporters in particular to matches which are played in the evening during the school term, and of course our Family Zone activities do not run on evenings.

The changes to two of our fixtures mean we now currently have just three Saturday 3pm home fixtures remaining of 2023 – those being against Norwich City on 7th October, Stoke City on 11th November and Birmingham City on 9th December. This is very different to how things were just a couple of years ago in League Two and League One, and even in the Championship, and goes to show how more national attention is being given to our progress at the Club which means we are subject to more TV selections.

The new television deal for the EFL with Sky Sports begins from the 2024/25 campaign.  Sky Sports will broadcast a minimum of 328 Sky Bet Championship matches each season, with five matches shown each weekend. The new deal allows for ‘Article 48’, the blocked broadcast period between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on Saturday afternoons, to remain meaning that main broadcast fixtures will be scheduled for outside of this time – that is important for a number of reasons, but it does mean that fixtures chosen for TV will be moved away from those traditional times. Sky Sports and the EFL will also introduce a new commitment for Clubs and fans which will provide longer notice periods on TV selections.

The deal is worth £935m over a five-year period, which represents a 50% increase on the value of the current rights agreement. This is obviously important for the Clubs at a time of economic strain for many in the pyramid, but it is important that fans are still at the heart of our game – not least for the atmosphere and passion they bring which makes EFL football such a spectacle to watch.

Thank you for your support as always, enjoy the game. PUSB

Dave Boddy
Chief Executive
Coventry City Football Club

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