MPs grill CEO

STV boss: ‘We can’t afford rights to Scotland games’

Simon Pitts

Simon Pitts: trying to be realistic

STV chief executive Simon Pitts has ruled out the prospect of the broadcaster being able to compete for live Scotland international football matches.

Mr Pitts told MPs that STV could not afford the sums now being paid and that rights are increasingly being acquired by Pay-TV giants such as Sky and Amazon.

Frustration over England matches being shown in Scotland, while Scotland’s games are reduced to highlights, was raised during a session of the Scottish Affairs Committee in the Commons.

A number of MPs asked Mr Pitts and his colleague Bobby Hain, managing director of the broadcast business, why STV has not screened crucial matches in the Euro or World Cup qualifiers and whether this would change.

“Sports rights, particularly football rights have become increasingly expensive and they are increasingly the preserve of pay-TV providers,” said Mr Pitts, adding that the size of the audience was key.

“The largest cheques are the ones that win the day and in recent times that has been the pay-TV providers, whether that is Amazon or BT Sports or Sky Sports. Realistically, I don’t see that changing unfortunately, unless the listed events rules are changed and more football matches are added.”

Mr Hain said 20 years ago STV was able to afford some matches, but even then it began to get outbid in multi-million pound deals.

One Comment to STV boss: ‘We can’t afford rights to Scotland games’

  1. You are a disgrace !! Even an advert for the football before your news programme. Not the game that the people of Scotland want to see. Put a film or whatever on, most people who want to watch the England game can change channels to Itv.

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