The SPFL announced this afternoon that Sky Sports have gained exclusive broadcast coverage of the SPFL from 2020.
The UK & Ireland broadcast rights for the Ladbrokes Premiership, Betfred Cup and IRN-BRU Cup from 2020-21 were auctioned and the winning bids were revealed to clubs by Chief Executive Neil Doncaster at a meeting at Hampden Park this afternoon. The Premiership clubs then gave their approval to each of the winning bids.
Whilst the commercial details of the agreements have not been revealed, under the new deals:
• Sky Sports will exclusively broadcast up to 48 Ladbrokes Premiership live matches per season, as well as up to six Premiership / Championship play-off matches, in each case for five seasons from 2020/21
• Premier Sports will exclusively broadcast between 12 and 16 Betfred Cup live matches and highlights per season
• Existing BBC Scotland television highlights and live radio packages have been renewed for five seasons from 2020, as well as up to 20 live Ladbrokes Championship matches per season for 2018/19 and 2019/20
• MG ALBA has agreed BBC ALBA will also broadcast one deferred Ladbrokes Premiership match each Saturday evening, live matches from the IRN-BRU Cup and the Ladbrokes Championship / League 1 and Ladbrokes League 1 / League 2 play-of finals for three seasons from 2020/21
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster, speaking immediately after the meeting with Premiership clubs at Hampden Park, said: “Every single deal is a major increase on our current contracts. Taken together, these deals represent the largest ever injection of broadcast investment since the SPL was founded over 20 years ago.
“Whilst we are not in a position to reveal exact figures, it’s indicative of the sums involved that the clubs quickly voted to accept the deals put before them.
“Interest in the Scottish game is extremely high both at home and overseas and this has been reflected in the size of the commercial deals we have been able to strike in what is definitely a very challenging market.
“It has been a remarkably complex and time-consuming process, but we have definitely got the right result and our media advisor Phil Lines has played an important role in achieving this successful outcome.
“We’re particularly pleased that we have been able to agree a deal for the Ladbrokes Premiership matches on an exclusive basis with a single live broadcast partner. Sky Sports has been at the heart of the football broadcasting revolution for many, many years and its determination to secure our rights and its commitment to ensuring excellence in its programming are extremely encouraging.
“We are also delighted to announce a deal with Premier Sports to broadcast the Betfred Cup and the continuation of our partnerships with BBC Scotland and MG ALBA.
“The significant, additional money which will come into Scottish football will be extremely welcome. The game can only benefit from the strong investment and widespread exposure these deals have secured.”
Barney Francis, Sky Sports’ Managing Director, said: “This is a hugely exciting time for Scottish football – something that has been reflected in the number of fans tuning in to watch on Sky Sports. With more games, in-game clips and highlights of every single Ladbrokes Premiership clash, fans won’t miss a minute. Add in live coverage of Scotland’s Nations League campaign, and every European Championship and World Cup qualifier and we’ve really got the Scottish game covered.”
Michael O’Rourke, Premier Sports’ Chairman, said: “I am genuinely delighted to secure the rights to the Betfred Cup for five seasons from 2020. This deal compliments our recently announced deal with the Scottish FA for their cup competition and completes a unique double for Premier Sports. We are looking forward to working with the SPFL in the years ahead.”
Steve Carson, Head of Multiplatform Commissioning, BBC Scotland, said: “We are delighted to have agreed this new deal with the SPFL. We know there is a huge appetite for Scottish football amongst the audience and these deals will allow us to bring them more action than ever before from the top tiers of the game. It’s great news for fans of the Scottish game and we’re looking forward to delivering a multiplatform package of high-quality coverage across TV, radio and online.”
Iseabail Mactaggart, Director of Strategy and Partnership at MG ALBA, commented: “We’re delighted to secure this agreement with the SPFL. It means Gaelic-language sports programming remains open for all across Scotland.”