Saturday, 5 January 2019

For those who didn't know this....

Barely-reported a month ago to the extent even Ibrox Noise was utterly unaware of this, we felt the urge to put up a piece on it today in order to inform our readers, many of whom may not know either.

BT Sports, regular Scottish football broadcaster, has completely lost SPFL rights and Sky Sports will be exclusive carriers from next year onwards.

Following Murdoch’s finest outbidding BT, UK viewers wanting Rangers, Celtic and the wee teams are now forced categorically to subscribe to Sky Sports from next summer onwards, in a deal which smacks of retribution over Sky Sports’ loss of Champions League some years ago.

In a sense it removes choice, but equally there wasn’t much choice because one broadcaster would select particular matches while the other took on the rest.

BT Sports’ coverage of SPFL was pretty good – arguments rage about how impartial, or otherwise, some of the pundits are, but the actual investment into it was pretty good – studios pitch side, dugout interviews and the very useful thumbnail camera to show sideline activity at the same time as the action continuing on the pitch was certainly decent coverage, but as of 2020/2021 that’ll be no more and it will be exclusively for Hayley McQueen and co over at Sky to cover.

For existing Sky subscribers it is convenient, but we will expect price rises to cover it. Equally BT will lose yet more subscribers, with the only three carrots the broadcaster really still has in the UK being Champions League, Europa League and English Premier League.

For the sake of healthy competition we’d hope they hold onto all of them otherwise Sky will control a complete monopoly over UK football.

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