OXFORD United could find themselves on free-to-air TV next season, as they also get set for a larger slice of the broadcast deal between the Football League and Sky Sports.

It was announced yesterday that ITV and Sky Sports have reached an agreement in principle which will allow fans in the UK to watch free-to-air coverage of Sky Bet Championship fixtures, plus Carabao Cup ties.

That deal will start in January, beginning with the Carabao Cup semi-finals, and run through until the end of the 2026/27 season.

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It will see ITV jointly broadcast a select number of games also available on Sky Sports, with ITV set to simultaneously show 10 Championship games a season.

Five matches will be broadcast in the second half of next season, when deal comes into play, including the option to select games from League One or League Two.

Trevor Birch, chief executive officer of the Football League, said in a statement: “We’re delighted to continue a long-standing relationship with ITV, in partnership with Sky Sports, to deliver an added showcasing of the best of the EFL to a wider audience.

“We want the EFL to be accessible to as many audiences as possible, and this extra offering, with no additional subscription required, only enhances our reputation. I’d like to thank both organisations for their ongoing support and genuine commitment to all EFL competitions.”

The deal follows the mammoth £935 million one struck between the Football League and Sky Sports, which will see more than 1,000 matches broadcast live every season from next year.

The five-year contract will see all 72 Football League teams featured more than 20 times a season.

In total, 1,059 games will be broadcast, including 328 Championship matches, plus 248 from both League One and League Two. All 15 play-off ties, plus all 93 Carabao Cup games and all 127 EFL Trophy fixtures are also included.

Matches will be broadcast on existing Sky Sports channels or via Sky Sports+, a new platform that will have the capability to show up to 100 live events via concurrent streams. Customers with a full Sky Sports subscription will not need to pay extra to access Sky Sports+.

The Sky Sports deal includes an agreement that there will be a more equal spread of club picks, with each Football League side to be featured live more than 20 times next season.

On Sky Sports+, 210 Championship matches will be available, with 229 each from League One and League Two, while on the main Sky Sports Channel, 118 Championship games will be broadcast, plus 19 each from League One and League Two.