The EFL has confirmed its partnership with Quest, the Discovery-owned free-to-air TV channel powered by Eurosport, to become the new home of football highlights for the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League One, Sky Bet League Two, Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy.
The partnership between the EFL and Quest will guarantee accessible high quality, free-to-air coverage for football fans across the country.
Kicking-off from the 2018/19 season the four-year deal will see Quest provide 90 minutes of extensive match highlights, hosted by Colin Murray, in primetime at 9pm every Saturday night. Quest will also broadcast 10 hour-long highlights shows capturing all the action from every round of mid-week fixtures. In addition, Quest will present eight, hour-long highlights shows from the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy as part of the arrangement.
Quest is available in 27 million homes across Freeview, Freesat, Sky, Virgin Media and BT TV. With a monthly reach of 12.4 million, Quest is Discovery’s largest channel in the UK, and enjoyed its best ever first-quarter performance in 2018.
The EFL highlights will headline Quest’s line-up of sports events throughout the year which are delivered by leveraging Eurosport’s sport production expertise. This list already includes snooker’s Home Nations series, cycling’s Giro d’Italia, British and World Superbike Championships and football’s pre-season tournament, the Emirates Cup.
Each show will feature every goal from every EFL fixture plus in-depth analysis from a selection of expert pundits, hosted by Colin Murray who has proved a popular figure on the existing EFL highlights show and now joins Quest for the 2018/19 season.
The new partnership guarantees the EFL comprehensive free-to-air linear coverage and enhanced digital content across Quest’s platforms, building on the current EFL distribution strategy to engage more fans than ever before. In a first for the EFL, Quest will produce “The Reaction” a new weekly interactive Facebook series also presented by Colin Murray. With a strong focus on engaging fans from clubs across the country, the series will offer the opportunity for supporters to voice their views and opinions following the conclusion of the day’s matches.
EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: “As our new official highlights partner, we’re looking forward to working with Quest over the next four years. This new partnership will provide excellent coverage of EFL football for supporters of our Clubs on a free-to-air platform at a primetime slot of 9pm on a Saturday evening. In addition the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy highlights will also be available alongside special mid-week shows to ensure that fans are kept fully updated with what’s happening across our competitions.
“As an experienced broadcaster, Clubs and their fans will be able to access high quality coverage on a channel that is committed to making the EFL highlights programme one of its flagship shows, led by the talented and respected host in Colin Murray, who has become a strong advocate for the work the League is undertaking both on and off the pitch.
“Quest is the largest channel in the Discovery portfolio with over 12 million people tuning in each month and alongside the rights-based programming, they will utilise their existing and emerging digital platforms to enhance the experience for fans to help tell the EFL story as the new season starts to unfold.”
Simon Downing, Head of Quest & Eurosport UK, said: “We are proud to be partnering with the EFL to bring match highlights to millions of fans across the UK. It’s our shared ambition to make coverage of these competitions accessible to as many people as possible, across all consumer platforms. We aim to deliver a high-quality free-to-air highlights show that is accessible, catering for all football fans and leveraging the reach of digital platforms to engage more people with the EFL, its clubs and competitions.”
Colin Murray added: “After a really good year, I’m delighted to stay as anchor for proper football! The most important things are the fans, the clubs and the players. We will be all about the football, from the results to the community around it.
“Working for the Discovery group before I already know how serious they are about sport, and they’ll no doubt handle the EFL highlights with passion and expertise.”