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SBD Global/July 31, 2013/Media

Scottish Professional Football League To Be Shown In India; BT Sport Pledges Success

BT Sport expressed confidence in its SPFL broadcasts this upcoming season.
The Scottish Professional Football League "announced a new, exclusive three-year broadcast deal with Indian sports channel Sony SIX," according to the Glasgow EVENING TIMES. The move will see Premiership and League One fixtures "screened in the country for the first time across television, mobile and internet platforms." More than 70 SPFL matches will be covered, "including Rangers' fixtures in League One." Sony SIX "already" has the rights to World Cup qualifiers and Euro 2016. The contract will run until the '15/16 campaign. A radio broadcast deal "has also been struck" with Bauer Media that will see its stations -- Clyde, Forth, Northsound, Tay, West and MFR -- "broadcast goal flashes from Premiership and League One matches for the coming season" (EVENING TIMES, 7/30).

CHANGING THE CULTURE: In Edinburgh, Stephen Halliday reported Scottish football "has proved to be something of a graveyard for broadcasters in recent seasons." However, BT Sport is "confident they will become a sustainable and successful presence." Having taken over the ESPN portion of the current Scottish football TV contract, which in conjunction with Sky Sports is due to run until the summer of '17, BT Sport "will herald the launch of the new-look SPFL season with live coverage of Friday night’s Premiership opener between Partick Thistle and Dundee United at Firhill." It will be the first of 40 live games on BT Sport, 30 of them from the top flight and the remaining 10 featuring Rangers. BT Retail CEO Marc Watson said, "The difference between us and previous broadcasters who have covered Scottish football is that we are a huge business. We have a market capitalization of £26 billion. We are not easy to push out of the market. We are the biggest fixed telephone line and broadband company in the country. That is something Setanta and the other broadcasters, such as ITV Sport in the past, could not provide" (SCOTSMAN, 7/30).
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