Scottish Supporters Network

Hosted by Supporters Direct Scotland

Strengthening Scottish Football
SDS Logo

Will SPFL Under Sell Itself To Sky?

Date: 23rd August 2022

It appears as though The SPFL and Sky Sports are in discussions to extend their current TV deal. The new contract will see them being tied together until 2029 and see the fee rise to £29.5m in that timeframe too. 

It will also see Sky have the chance to show up to 60 games live with the minimum being set at 42 (more than it is currently). The new deal would also allow clubs in the Premiership to show 5 pay per view ties a season as long as Sky don’t select the fixture and as long as the game isn’t being played between 2:45pm and 5:15pm on a Saturday. 

Personally I think this deal would still see our game being under sold. For example, it would see Scotland still being valued less than Danish Superliga; a country lower than us in the UEFA co-efficient, with a similar population and let’s not forget that their deal expires in 2024!

A huge issue for Scotland is that we share our broadcasters with England and they’ll throw every penny they can at the English Premier League. They will then throw the crumbs that are left at The Premiership up here.

I find it extremely odd that our clubs and the SPFL would just renegotiate such a longterm deal with a partner that isn’t overly bothered by the league, Sky haven’t covered the 48 games that they had available to them in the last two seasons. Even with this new deal they won’t have to cover 48 games a season never mind getting up to 60!

I don’t believe the pay per view option is the carrot that Sky and the SPFL believe it to be. Fans want consistent 3pm Saturday kick-offs and that option will see more games being moved to a different time or day so clubs can get that extra bit of cash. I think we really need to rethink this 3pm blackout, times have changed and so should football’s thinking. 

Why would a competition like the Premiership not at least open up discussions over a new deal with other potential broadcasters or wait until they can do so and sell the rights via an auction? At the moment you have more platforms wanting live sport but we aren’t even willing to listen to them. 

I’m guessing the Setanta deal signed back in 2008 is still looming large in the minds of those that run our game. That deal is still worth more than this new one but obviously Setanta went bust and Scottish football suffered big time as a result. That will see owners and custodians up and down the land thinking that Sky are a reliable partner when it comes to writing out cheques. 

The other option in this possible new deal will see Sky have an option on a further 10 game bundle at a fee of £4m. Again we are cutting our noses off if we agree to that particular option, surely we can offer other bundles to other broadcasters that could see more money coming in and more eyes on our product, 

Personally I would just want more transparency when it comes to such deals within our game. Once again it seems like fans are being taken for granted and short term thinking could see our game being undersold once again. 

By Scott Johnston (@TheFootyblognet

Posted in: Latest News