Football result: How Sky Sports is covering the 2019-20 EPL and EFL seasons
Under the terms of its new English Premier League (EPL) contract, which kicks in this month, Sky Sports will cover 128 live and 80 non-live games each season until 2021-22. Included in the output for 2019-20 will be Dolby Atmos sound on live games and an updated augmented reality (AR) studio for presentation.
Sky’s new Premier League season kicked off on Friday 9 August when Liverpool played Norwich City at Anfield. Kelly Cates was joined by Neville and Carragher for Friday Night Football. Saturday Night Football returned in the 17:30 slot with Tottenham v Aston Villa.
Then, David Jones hosted a spectacular Super Sunday as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took on Frank Lampard for the first time at Old Trafford. Manchester United v Chelsea followed Arsenal’s trip to Newcastle United. The major addition to the Super Sunday line-up was ex-Chelsea and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who joined Gary Neville and Graeme Souness on the analysis panel. Three-time Premier League-winning manager Mourinho has joined the Sky Sports team and will be a regular panellist this season.
“Our main Premier League commentators are Martin Tyler, Rob Hawthorn and Bill Leslie,” said Sky Sports head of football Gary Hughes. “Working alongside them will be co-commentators Gary Neville, Alan Smith and Jamie Carragher.”
Hughes continued, “Our Friday Night Football and Saturday Night Football will be presented from each venue, with the team operating pitchside. When it comes to the Sunday hub games at 16:30, we will have a studio presence, while Monday Night Football is presented from Sky Studios.”
In addition to the Premier League commitment, Sky Sports will be covering 163 games including English Football League (EFL) games, Carabao Cup, EFL Trophy and Playoffs and UEFA Euro Qualifiers, while in Scotland 30 games in the SPFL (Scottish Professional Football League) will be available to subscribers, including all four Old Firm games.
“We also have a host of support programming,” explained Hughes. “This includes Soccer Saturday, Soccer AM, The Debate, Goals on Sunday, presented by Alex Scott and Chris Kamara, Sunday Supplement, Football Social and a new Saturday Social show, which is looking at the game from a social media perspective. So, a feast of football for the fans.”
Hughes says that OB facilities for the Premier League are provided by NEP UK. And under the terms of the contract, Dolby Atmos is available on all live games.
Sky Sports has updated the design of its AR studio this season, introducing Ncam technology, which allows the production team to bring graphics and, for example, avatars, out of the screen and make them part of the set. It has also introduced a jib camera to create more movement in the studio and to showcase the size AR creates.
Read more about Sky Sports’ use of AR in its live football coverage and presentation
Hughes concluded, “This is set to be our biggest season yet and we’ve got the best team to share all the stories with football fans across the country. “We’ve got more games than ever before and across Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Football, we’ll cover every dramatic twist and turn across another glorious season.”