Bad news for BT Sport
Big win for Sky Sports in Premiership rights battle
Sky Sports has won the exclusive rights to the Scottish Premiership in a new five-year deal (pic: SNS Group)
Sky Sports has beaten off competition from rival BT Sport to clinch exclusive rights to the Scottish Premiership in a new five-year deal worth a reported £30 million a season.
The new contract kicks off from the start of the 2020-21 campaign and will see the broadcaster televise up to 48 top-flight matches per season, plus six Premiership play-off ties.
Sky and BT Sport currently hold the joint rights to Ladbrokes Premiership matches, each showing up to 30 games per season in a contract understood to be worth £21 million to Scottish clubs.
The deal sees BT Sport lose all of its rights to Scottish football as rival channel Premier Sports will exclusively broadcast between 12 and 16 Scottish League Cup live matches and highlights per season.
BBC Scotland have extended their existing TV highlights and live radio deals and will also show 20 live matches from the Championship both this season and the following one. Another agreement sees BBC Alba continue to show a deferred Premiership match on Saturday nights, plus games from the Championship, League One and League Two play-offs.
Hailing the new deals as part of an historic investment in Scottish football, SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster 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.”
Mr Doncaster added: “It has been a remarkably complex and time-consuming process, but we have definitely got the right result.
“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.”
While welcomed by the SPFL, the new figures are swamped by the deal agreed between the English Football League and its current broadcaster partner Sky Sports.
A new five-year contract worth £595 million will see Sky show games from the second-tier English Championship and two lower divisions.