Match of the Day return for Town

IPSWICH Town will be back on Match of the Day and could be shown live on the BBC for the first time in nearly 10 years under a new broadcasting deal.

Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town will be back on Match of the Day and could be shown live on the BBC for the first time in nearly 10 years under a new broadcasting deal.

The Blues will also benefit a huge cash boost after the Football League negotiated a deal worth double its current contract with Sky and BBC.

The new agreement worth �264m compared to �112.5m from before, starts from next season and will run until the 2012-2013 season.


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The renewed interest nationally with Roy Keane now in charge could mean Town getting a live game on BBC and a cash bonanza.

Although Town's average gate was down slightly for the season, Championship football in general has withstood the financial

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climate and with a total live audience of �9.9m is still the fourth most-watched live with only the Premier League, Germany's Bundesliga and Spain's La Liga attracting bigger crowds.

Under the new agreement, Sky will broadcast: 65 matches from the Football League; the play-offs, including all three finals; live matches from all rounds of the Carling Cup - two matches per round - and two legs of the semi-finals plus the final; and live matches from the Johnstone's Paint Trophy; in addition to clips and highlights from the Football League and Carling Cup.

The BBC will broadcast: 10 Championship matches, the first time the corporation has screened a league game from outside the top flight; the two legs of the Carling Cup semi-finals not covered by Sky; the Carling Cup final (simultaneously with Sky) and Football League and Carling Cup highlights.

The Football League chairman, Lord Mawhinney, said: "We are delighted to be continuing our strong partnership with Sky Sports and are excited by the prospect of working closely with the BBC.

"Over the last few years, the League's standing has been enhanced, both commercially and competitively, as we have delivered real football for real fans. Eighty-eight million pounds a year coupled with unparalleled coverage on Sky and the BBC will provide a fantastic boost to Football League clubs and their supporters."

Ipswich Town are to continue their radio commentary agreement for home and away games with Heart FM for another season, while BBC Radio Suffolk will continue to provide full match commentary for away matches and also provide updates from Portman Road before during and after matches.

Town were considering activating an option to end the arrangement with Heart FM but a settlement could not be reached and the station will continue to provide the home match coverage.

Ipswich Town last night refused to comment on either broadcasting deal.

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