FIFA 23: EA deal with Sky Sports signals intent for football streaming service

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Hot off the heels of announcing their real-life highlights partnership with Spain's LaLiga, EA has announced a new partnership with Premier League broadcaster, Sky Sports.

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The three-year deal will see EA Sports feature prominently across Sky's live coverage of the Premier League.

Deal done

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A new multi-year deal between EA and Sky has been confirmed as the gap between the virtual world and reality continues to close.

The official statement from Sky reads as follows:

Electronic Arts (EA) and Sky Media today announced a sponsorship agreement that sees the video game company sponsor Sky Sports’ Premier League coverage from the start of the 2022/23 season until the end of the 2024/25 season.
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The three-year, multi-platform deal was brokered between Sky Media and global media network mSix&Partners.
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EA SPORTS FIFA – the world’s largest sports video game franchise – will appear right before and after each of the exclusive 128 Premier League matches per season broadcast live on Sky Sports, on non-live Premier League programming on the dedicated Sky Sports Premier League channel including On Demand, and across digital touchpoints including Skysports.com, the Sky Sports App and Sky Sports social channels.
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From August 5th 2022, fans tuning in to watch the likes of Jack Grealish, Virgil Van Dijk, Son Heung-Min, and Kai Havertz will be treated to unique creatives as part of their pre- and post-game viewing experience.
EA SPORTS will draw parallels between real-life and game-play footage from the iconic FIFA series which will be echoed across digital in the form of premium display and video campaigns on the Sky Sports website and sponsorship of Premier League content on Sky Sports’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social channels.

Blurring the lines

Each year we see video games that become more realistic, and FIFA 23 is set to be no different after the exciting Matchday Experience reveal.

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EA Sports FIFA Marketing Director James Salmon echoed this statement, saying "This is a momentous sponsorship for EA SPORTS that signifies our long-term commitment to delivering authentic experiences for football fans globally."

"We’re hugely excited to be part of the Premier League experience on Sky Sports with bespoke content that blurs the lines between the virtual and real world of football.”

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Innovative partnership

Brett Aumuller, Managing Director at Sky Media, was equally thrilled with the deal.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to announce EA SPORTS joining our stellar line-up of sponsors for the Premier League," he said.

"EA becomes the first official Premier League partner to sponsor our Sky Sports coverage, as well as [the] first to include social media rights.

"This innovative partnership will come to life across multiple platforms and capture the excitement and scale only the Premier League can deliver.”

EA Sports FC streaming service

Deals with Sky Sports and LaLiga signal EA's intent to show real football in their FIFA (soon to be EA Sports FC) titles.

From 2023/24, fans will be able to view LaLiga highlights in the game, so the next logical step would be to host Sky Sports coverage too.

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While Sky is not an exclusive owner of Premier League broadcasting rights, it would certainly be appealing to fans of the game.

There is the possibility for more leagues to join up too as many hold great relationships with EA, so a football streaming service could be on the cards.