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Why Are Fans Not At Forefront Of New TV Deals?

Date: 27th April 2022

We all remember the debacle of the European Super League. UEFA and most Football Associations came out and vigorously campaigned against the idea, they were quick to curry favour with fans. 

Yet just over a year on and we are left asking – Do UEFA really have the fans best interest at heart? 

Today The SFA announced that from 2024 till 2028 Scotland Men’s national team matches will be broadcast by Nordic broadcaster Viaplay. 

The TV rights are awarded by UEFA in a centralised deal.

Now I don’t know too much about Viaplay, I am not against them as a company but this is yet another slap in the face of Scottish fans. 

If you want to watch as much Scottish football as possible; then you need to purchase a TV License, a Sky subscription, a BT Sport Pass, Premier Sports subscription as well as a membership to the Scotland Supporters club plus tickets to club and international games. These prices soon mount up. You can add to that travel expenses and then family tickets for some, plus merchandise prices too! 

The term ‘Cost of Living Crisis’ is one we are all too used to now. There are people who really have to choose between heating and eating. These people are being left behind and Uefa, clubs, The SFA and UEFA aren’t looking behind them to make too much effort in helping out. 

I am pleased to hear that The SFA and Viaplay have held some early encouraging talks regarding some free to air games. I would prefer it if we could get some sort of deal that sees either all away or home qualifiers shown on terrestrial TV as a priority. 

During the Covid pandemic we all watched as football was promoted as something that could bring the society together during such a tough time. But now in 2022 it is again being pushed away from those struggling in our society and is only accessible to those that can afford it. 

Questions also have to be asked of our terrestrial networks… 

Why is the BBC Scotland TV channel not going for these rights? Why can ITV bid for England games but not give STV a helping hand with a bid for Scotland games? Channel 4 clearly went all out for England, yet nothing for Scotland? 

Everyone stated last year football is all about the supporters, yet it still seems to me that it’s only about taking the punters money and using them up as victims whenever it suits. Words are pretty meaningless when actions never seem to follow. 

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