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Quest scores four year EFL highlights deal

Free-to-air TV highlights from the English Football League will move to Quest next season, bringing Channel 5's short stint in charge to an end.

After just three years, Channel 5 has lost the rights to show highlights, with the Discovery-owned Quest taking over for the next four years. Channel 5's coverage had originally been slated for showing too little football when it first took over the highlights in 2015.

The move will "guarantee accessible high quality, free-to-air coverage for football fans across the country", according to a statement today from the English Football League.

Colin Murray will continue to host the highlights in a new 90 minute show, to be shown at 9pm on Quest. The channel will also broadcast 10 hour-long highlights shows capturing all the action from every round of midweek fixtures. In addition, Quest will present eight hour-long highlights shows from the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy as part of the arrangement.

Quest will also produce The Reaction – a new weekly interactive Facebook series also presented by Colin Murray. The series aims to offer the opportunity for supporters to voice their views and opinions following the conclusion of the day’s matches.

Simon Downing, Head of Quest said:
“We are proud to be partnering with the EFL to bring match highlights to millions of fans across the UK. It’s our shared ambition to make coverage of these competitions accessible to as many people as possible, across all consumer platforms."

For the provision of its coverage, Quest will tap into the experience of sister channel Eurosport. Quest first launched as a factual entertainment channel, but following Discovery's acquisition of Eurosport, the channel has increasingly become a free-to-air outlet for a selection of live sport and highlights. Quest has been showing sports coverage since June 2014, when it first broadcast coverage from the Swedish FIM Speedway Grand Prix.

Despite EFL highlights remaining on free-to-air TV, the move does appear to mark the end of an HD outlet, as Quest isn't currently broadcast in high definition. The channel has however indicated it intends to launch an HD service in the future.

Quest: reception details
  • Freeview: 37
  • YouView: 37 (BT, TalkTalk, Plusnet)
  • EE TV:  37
  • Now TV: via the NOW TV Smart Box
  • Sky: 144
  • Freesat: 167
  • Virgin Media: UK 172
  • Online: (also via TVPlayer mobile app)