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england uefa nations league

Sky Sports has landed quite a coup – it's secured the exclusive live rights to England's football matches in the new UEFA Nations League.

Plus it'll show home nations qualifiers for the Euros and World Cup.

Wondering when you'll be able to see England live on Sky Sports? And exactly what this new league involves? Read on for everything you need to know.

1 A new European league

england euro 2016

Sky Sports' deal gives it exclusive live rights to all England's matches in the UEFA Nations League. This is a new league created to stand in place of international friendly matches played on the FIFA International Match Calendar.

It involves all 55 countries currently playing in UEFA split into four sub-leagues by ranking them based on their recent results.

These sub-leagues are then split into groups of three or four teams, just like at the start of a tournament.

It works just like a regular football league: if a team does well, it'll be promoted; poorly, and it'll be relegated to a lower league.

It's hoped this will allow teams to play against similarly-ranked opponents. This, combined with the fact that no team wants to face relegation, should make for more exciting viewing than your average friendly.

The top four teams will compete in a Final Four summer showpiece, with the winner crowned the Nations League champion.

The Final Four will take place in odd years, so whenever there isn't a World Cup or European Championships, there will be a Nations League Final Four to watch. Good news for footie fans.

As well as England's matches, Sky Sports will also show other countries' games. In fact, it includes up to 900 matches in four years. So there's plenty to get your teeth into.

According to UEFA: "The UEFA Nations League creates more meaningful and competitive matches for teams and a dedicated calendar and structure for national team football."

2 It starts next year

uefa sign

The first Nations League kicks off in September 2018. Yes, that is just a few weeks after the World Cup 2018. No rest for the wicked.

Matches will be played in September, October and November. Then the Final Four finale will happen in June of the following year.

Sky's deal runs from 2018 to 2022.

"Showing England in competitive matches exclusively live for the first time in seven years is great news for our viewers with the UEFA Nations League putting the top nations against each other regularly," said Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports.

"Added to the recent success of Wales and Northern Ireland in reaching major tournaments, there is even more reason to follow the home nations on Sky Sports."

3 But ITV will show the big tournaments

world cup tv

While Sky will show highlights of England's qualifiers for Euro 2020 and World Cup 2022, you'll have to watch ITV to see them live. That's because the terrestrial broadcaster has retained exclusive live rights to England's qualifiers for both tournaments.

However, Sky will show the home nations' (Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales) qualifying games for both tournaments.

4 The matches matter

sky sports uhd

As well as the pride of winning – and, more importantly, not been relegated – the Nations League will also determine the seedings for the qualifiers for Euro 2020 and the World Cup 2022. So you can be sure teams will take it seriously – we're expecting some fierce clashes.

5 New ways to watch

sky sports mix promo

Sky has consistently pioneered new ways to watch football, whether it's in 4K, virtual reality, split-screen, or using the Spidercam to see more angles. Hopefully it'll keep up this pace of innovation, so viewers can become even more immersed in the game.

It also offers some sports to all Sky subscribers, whether or not they have Sky Sports, thanks to its Sky Sports Mix channel. This shows select sports for Sky customers at no extra fee. Who knows, maybe it'll show some live England matches on Mix.

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