There’s nothing more infuriating than booking train tickets for an away match, or making arrangements around a home fixture, only to find that the game has suddenly moved, usually to accommodate live TV. This seems to have been a bigger challenge this season with several matches moved for TV already.
We have also had a game moved because of an unusual clash with a Chelsea fixture and later in the season matches run the risk of being moved to accommodate either Fulham or opposition Cup fixtures.
Sky match selection guidelines
Information about the announcement dates and process for selecting TV fixtures is available on the EFL web site. There are a number of points to note from this page
- illustrative dates for the announcement of batches of TV matches
- five week minimum notice commitment allowing matches to move even after the illustrative date
- rolling four week notice period in operation for matches from 7th March onwards
- three week notice period for the penultimate weekend of the season
- final day notification after penultimate games, but all matches kick off together.
Sky don’t always stick to the illustrative dates and often don’t announce all of the matches in a batch at the same time, so good indicators of whether a fixture is still at risk of being moved are the minimum notice commitment and whether the obvious TV slots for the weekend in question have been filled (by EFL, Premier League, Scottish or Northern Irish matches).
Championship TV slots
The TV slots used for Championship weekend fixtures tend to be
- Friday evening : 19:45 or 20:00
- Saturday lunchtime : 12:00 or 12:30
- Sunday lunchtime : 12:00 or 12:30
- Monday evening : 19:45 or 20:00
The current list of matches selected by Sky is available here.
Colour coding the fixture list
This is quite a lot to digest, so we have put together a simplified fixture list below based on an assessment of all of the factors above. We classify fixtures as follows
- green – game should no longer be at risk of change *
- amber – be careful, game date could still be changed
- red – game date has changed
- grey – game completed.
The fixture also list explains the reason for the colour code of each match.
We will update this fixture list throughout the season and have also included useful information identifying international breaks and Cup weekends which could impact our fixtures even if we are out of the Cup.
* Please also do your own research, especially if you are committing to an expensive train fare, and let us know if you have any further insights.
Last colour update made Friday 6th December 2019
Middlesbrough (Home, 18 Jan 2020) red as moved to Friday 17 Jan 2020 for Sky TV
Aston Villa (Home, 4 Jan 2020, FA Cup 3) amber as TV picks not yet announced and Chelsea, QPR, Brentford all drawn at home.
Hull (Away, 11 Jan 2020) now green as final TV slot taken by Cliftonville v Linfield. Game now on sale.