Football League highlights set for switch from BBC to Channel 5

Channel 5 will show the highlights at an earlier time slot on Saturday night

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The Independent Football

The Football League is set to announce that the BBC has lost the rights to the weekly highlights show to Channel 5.

It is understood Channel 5 will show the highlights at 9pm on Saturday evenings with the prime-time TV slot hugely appealing to the Football League clubs who want to attract younger audiences.

The BBC has scheduled its highlights of matches from the Championship, League One and League Two beginning after Match of The Day - usually starting just before midnight and ending after 1am.

The Channel 5 deal will take effect from the start of next season and will also include Capital One Cup highlights. The Football League is expected to make an announcement before Christmas.

It comes after the Premier League on Friday announced its Invitations To Tender (ITT) for the domestic TV rights for 2016-19, including for the highlights package held by the BBC since 2004.

ITV, which will be without Champions League football by that time, is expected to challenge the BBC for the Match of the Day slot.

Cricket highlights have been a crowd-puller for Channel 5 - in 2013 official figures showed 1.4million tuned in to the Ashes on a Sunday night.