SPFL and Sky close to agreeing improved TV deal to show up to 60 Scottish Premiership matches

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The Scottish Professional Football League could bring in £38m per year as part of the new deal.

The SPFL is close to extending its television deal with Sky Sports until 2029, enabling the broadcaster to show up to 60 live Scottish Premiership matches per season.

Sky’s exisiting contract with the SPFL, which allows a maximum of 48 top-flight games a season, is set to expire at the end of the 2024/25 season.

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Under the revised terms they will continue with that limit for the next two seasons at a cost of £25.7m and £26.7m respectively but negotiations have been held between the league body and Sky over continuing the partnership.

A new Scottish Premiership TV deal is being negotiated with Sky Sports. Picture: SNSA new Scottish Premiership TV deal is being negotiated with Sky Sports. Picture: SNS
A new Scottish Premiership TV deal is being negotiated with Sky Sports. Picture: SNS

The number of games is expected to increase to up to 60 matches under the proposed new broadcasting deal, with all 12 Premiership teams able to broadcast up to five games, not chosen for coverage by Sky Sports, on a pay-per-view basis.

Due to the ongoing Saturday TV blackout between 2.45pm and 5.15pm those PPV fixtures would have to be moved, pending special dispensation.

For example, Ross County could have switched last weekend’s match against Celtic, which was not selected for TV coverage, to an early or late kick-off for this purpose.

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In addition to the new deal worth around £30million per year, a secondary deal has been discussed which would allow Sky to show an extra 20 games at the cost of around £8m per season.

Should Sky decide against agreeing to take on the secondary deal, the SPFL would be able to sell the rights for those additional matches to another broadcaster.

James McFadden (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)James McFadden (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
James McFadden (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

Supporters continue to debate whether the broadcaster appropriately value the Scottish game and Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson said last year: “When you look at the television deal we’ve currently got in place with Sky - and Sky are fantastic partners, so no criticism of Sky whatsoever - we have undersold the product.”

If Sky accept to take on 80 games for around £38million, the cost of each live match would be roughly £475,000

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BT Sports shared coverage with Sky in Scotland before the former opted against screening further coverage at the start of the 2020/21 season, forcing the SPFL to revise its title sponsorship with cinch after confirmation Rangers had no requirement to provide an inventory.

Other clubs, who have commissioned Deloitte to conduct an independent review of the SPFL, remain eager to drive the league forward commercially and the proposed new deal would act as a key step forward.

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