Thai Airways renews with EFL, league boss announces exit

The English Football League has extended its partnership with Thai Airways for the EFL’s five finals, including next Sunday’s Carabao Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester City.

Thai Airways first joined the EFL as an Official Supporter in November 2017.

Under the new deal, Thai Airways will have a digital and in-stadia presence at the Carabao Cup final, and across all EFL finals at Wembley, including the Checkatrade Trophy and the playoff finals of the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two. Thai Airways will also have access to VIP tickets for fan competitions.

According to EFL data, this year’s Carabao Cup final will be covered in 175 broadcast territories, with a potential household reach of 762 million people.

In Thai Airways’ domestic market, the finals will be broadcast on digital terrestrial television network PPTV.

In Asia, the EFL also has broadcast partners in China (ssports.com), India (Jio), Macau, Vietnam and Indonesia.

In the rest of the world, the final will be shown on major digital networks, including BeINSport channels in France, the Middle East and Australia, DAZN in Germany and Canada, and ESPN channels in the US and South America.

EFL’s chief executive, Shaun Harvey, who yesterday announced he would will be leaving the role at the end of this season, said: “The international market is increasingly important for the EFL, as we look to raise the profile of the league, our clubs and the unique excitement and drama of EFL competitions on a global stage.

“Our international television deals alongside streaming platform iFollow, continue to provide international supporters with ever more opportunities to follow the EFL wherever they are in the world.”

Harvey was asked to step down by the EFL board after receiving heavy criticism from Championship clubs who felt that the league’s latest television deal undervalued the rights.

In a separate move, SportBusiness Sponsorship has learned that EFL marketing director Drew Barrand left the role before the new year. The position is currently being covered by interim head of marketing David Newby.