Sky deal keeps Blues on the box

IPSWICH Town fans will be able to watch their side in action on live TV next season.The Football League today announced a new £95million television deal with Sky to screen Nationwide League games and Worthington Cup matches for the next four seasons.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH Town fans will be able to watch their side in action on live TV next season.

The Football League today announced a new £95million television deal with Sky to screen Nationwide League games and Worthington Cup matches for the next four seasons.

The announcement will come as a huge relief to clubs left out of pocket by the collapse of ITV Digital, who folded owing the League £189.5m from their TV deal.


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The rights reverted to the League after the collapse, and they have now returned to Sky in a deal that will see more than 300 live matches shown between now and the end of the 2005-6 season.

Football League chief executive David Burns said in a statement: "This is great news for the Football League and its clubs and we are absolutely delighted to be returning to Sky Sports.

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"This agreement will help to provide financial stability to clubs at a very important time, as well as top-class coverage of our games."

The deal will see:

* 60 live Nationwide League matches per season, with 50 from Division One.

* the three play-off finals screened live, and the possibility of showing six other play-off games live.

* two live games from each round of the Worthington Cup plus the semi-finals and final.

* live coverage of the LDV Vans Trophy Final.

The matches will be screened on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Vic Wakeling, managing director of Sky Sports said in a statement: "Sky are delighted to be involved with The Football League.

"We hope that the clubs can now plan for the future and we will soon schedule the first live matches, with the League and the clubs, so that fans can plan their opening weeks of the season.

"We also look forward to the play-off finals – which produce some of the most exciting games of the season – and the Worthington Cup Final, which grants the first European place.

"This season Sky Sports will offer viewers over 300 live matches. Viewers will know where to find live football and can enjoy competitive games from across the League alongside exclusively live matches from the Premiership.'

The League will press ahead with legal action against the owners of ITV Digital, Carlton and Granada, at the High Court in London on July 26.

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