The IRN-BRU League Cup received a massive boost ahead of the new season, as it was announced that Sky Sports will broadcast the final live on Saturday, January 26.
In recent seasons the final has been shown on BBC Northern Ireland, but the new Sky deal will give the competition national exposure.
Eddie Patterson, manager of cash-strapped Glentoran, welcomed the link up with Sky Sports.
“It's an excellent opportunity for the players to showcase their talents and I believe people will see that there is an awful lot of quality in our league,” he said.
Ballymena United boss Glenn Ferguson believes the chance to play on live national television will makes clubs work even harder to reach the final.
Ferguson said: “I think Irn-Bru have worked very hard with this competition and getting Sky on board is another great boost.
“The players will relish the thought of being on Sky Sports. Every club will be aiming for that final place and it's great to know that people from across the water will be able to watch the final.”
Glenavon player-boss Gary Hamilton believes that for clubs like his, the cup provides a great opportunity to win silverware.
“Over the past seven seasons Linfield have done the double in every single year except one, so the League Cup is a great opportunity for all the other clubs to win a piece of silverware,” he said.
“Tournaments like this give you a real chance, because if we're being honest, nobody can realistically expect to beat Linfield to the league title.”
The first round will take place on Tuesday, August 14, with holders Crusaders starting their defence in the second round against either Glebe Rangers or Larne.
IRN-BRU LEAGUE CUP: First Round: (Tuesday, August 14) Ards v Annagh United, Banbridge v Queen’s, Moyola Park v Tobermore United, Sport & Leisure Swifts v Wakehurst, Loughgall v Lurgan Celtic, Portstewart v H&W Welders, PSNI v Chimney Corner, Knockbreda v Warrenpoint, Dergview v Ballyclare Comrades, Glebe Rangers v Larne .
Second Round: (Monday, August 27) Linfield v Ards or Annagh United, Crusaders v Glebe or Larne, Killymoon Rangers v Carrick Rangers, Glentoran v PSNI or Chimney Corner, Dergview or Ballyclare Comrades v Newry City, Ballymena United v Loughgall or Lurgan Celtic, Cliftonville v Moyola Park or Tobermore United, Donegal Celtic v Portstewart or H&WW, Ballinamallard United v Knockbreda or Warrenpoint, Bangor v Armagh City, Portadown v Dundela, Banbridge Town or Queen's v Institute, Limavady United v Lisburn Distillery, Sport & Leisure or Wakehurst v Glenavon, Ballymoney United v Coleraine, Dungannon S v Coagh United.