Sky Bet Championship is the first division in the English Football League and the second highest division in the same league. It is ranked second to the famous English Premier League.
Every season, the first and second teams of the Sky Bet Championship get automatic promotion to the Barclays Premier League while the third to sixth positions battle out on playoffs to secure the third spot.
The bottom three teams in the Championship are usually relegated down to League 1 and are replaced in a similar manner with the top two teams in the league 1.
Sky Bet Championship Odds
Sky Bet Championship, which is also known as the Football League, was started in the 2004/2005 season. It was previously referred to as the Football League First Division, which ran from 1994 to 2004. The Football League Division was also referred to as the First Division ran from 1892 to 1992.
In last year's rankings, the Sky Bet Championship was ranked as the wealthiest non-top flight football division in the world and ranked in number seven in the list of the richest divisions in Europe. During the 201/2015 season, the average match attendance at the Sky Bet Championship was approximated to be 17,300.
This figure was slightly close to the Bundesliga and placed the Championship as the second most watched league worldwide.
In the 2014/2015 season, AFC Bournemouth were the Sky Bet Championship winners with Watford being the runners up. Norwich, who were the playoff champions, joined the two teams to play in the EPL.
In the 2004/2005 season, Sky Bet Championship marked its highest attendance of slightly more than 9 million. This figure ranked as the fourth highest in the whole world behind Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga, which had 12.88, 11.57 and 10.92 million respectively.
One thing noted is that the championship had beaten Italy’s Series A and France’s Ligue, which had 9.77 and 8.17 million attendance. This marked off a new revolution in Sky Bet Championship’s relevance to the whole world at large mainly because the competition edge comes from the television business.
These figures were contributed to the presence of 24 clubs when compared to other 20 clubs which are featured in Serie A and Ligue 1.
Until the 2009/2010 season, Coca-Cola were the official sponsors of the Sky Bet Championship after which they terminated their contract.
Thereafter, npower became the newly title sponsors of the league till the 2012/2013 season when Sky Bet signed a 5-year sponsorship deal. This included renaming the Football League to Sky Bet Championship.
Structure of the Sky Bet Championship
The league consists of 24 teams and each season runs from the beginning of August to May the next year annually. Every team will compete twice against each other, one at “home” and the other “away” making it 46 matches at the end of the season.
A team is awarded 3 points for recording a win, a point for a draw and 0 for a loss. Sky Bet Championship use the regular system of football ranking. They will usually consider the goal difference, the total points, how the teams performed when they went head to head.
If the teams finish the season with equal points and have all the factors above equal, they will be ranked according to their alphabetic order, not unless there is a stake in playoff or promotion.
Once the season comes to an end, the top 2 teams in the Sky Bet Championship and the winner of the play-offs are usually promoted to the EPL and while the bottom three teams are relegated to League 1.
The Sky Bet Championship play-off is a knock-out competition among the top teams ranging from the 3rd to 6th place where the winner is promoted to the Premier League. The 3rd place competes against the 6th place team, where the 4th place competes against the 5th place.
The winners of the semi-final then compete against each other the final winner is rewarded with a Championship play-off’s trophy. All the teams play in home and away round offs.
In 2009 to 2012, Sky Sports acquired the rights to air 65 live games, which included the play-off semi-finals as well as the final play-off match. BBC had rights to display first 10 choice games of the normal season in addition to a highlights show. The three-year contract deal was paid by Sky worth £264 million.
After that, Sky Sports took all the exclusive live rights over Football League, which became Sky Bet Championship for £195 million. This saw a reduction of 26% from the previous deal made with BBC. This deal also included 75 live games, 15 league cup-ties, and all playoff matches.
Local radios stations that have a local team in the Sky Bet Championship cover a live audio game of the same. BBC Sports have exclusive rights to broadcast live radio games over the whole of UK. BBC also have local stations over the local regions to broadcast.
Current State of Play
Queen’s Park barely managed to defeat Bristol City when Karl Henry brilliantly scored a 63rd-minute strike ending the Sky Bet Championship match for the season. City had many chances to score within the first hour, but non amounted to Henry’s thrilling score at the “last” minute.
Kicking the ball 25 yards away, he unleashed a magnificent strike to the top corner of the net. City has saved their championship with a spare of defeat to West London, but that is something to look forward to in the next season.
General Betting Rules
- The bets made are reviewed after the results of the 90-minute match, which includes time of injury.
- The Sky Bet Championship odds are made based on the market offers available on the SkyBet.com website.
- At such a point a game is postponed, the bets on the game will be reviewed following the postponement rules available in the SkyBet website.
- Where a match has been abandoned, all the bets made where the result has occurred, e.g., at halftime or when a team has scored, stand. Otherwise, any other bet will be considered as void.
- Matches where a referee removed a player temporarily and returned the player in the same match, will not be unconsidered.
- Sky Bet Championship odds on games where a result cannot be found will be accepted 24 hours after the game has started.
- If the match venue is changed and it has been published so, all bets in the game are void.
- Information for timing markets is displayed by the official website or the Press Association.