ESPN Agrees To Five-Year Deal With The Scottish Premier League Including Rangers
ESPN "has followed Sky Sports" in agreeing to a five-year contract with Scottish football, according to the PA. ESPN "will screen 30 Scottish Premier League games and 10 Rangers games from the Third Division," including three from Ibrox. ESPN's coverage begins on Sunday with Dundee United's season opener against Hibernian. It will then show the Edinburgh derby on Aug. 12 and Celtic's first league visit to Ross County on Aug. 18. Details of Rangers coverage "will be announced later." Kilmarnock Chair Michael Johnston said he understood there would be no "significant reduction" in broadcasting contract revenues (PA, 8/3). The total of 40 games is 10 more than ESPN broadcast in previous seasons (ESPN, 8/3).
GOING VIRAL: The Scottish DAILY RECORD reported that the SPL "have joined forces with YouTube" in a deal, which will see "match highlights and exclusive content made available to fans in the U.K. and around the world for the next three seasons." The partnership "is a first for league football in the U.K." and will see the SPL's official YouTube channel "splofficial" screen highlights from every Clydesdale Bank Premier League match, beginning this season. The channel will also cover pre- and post-match reaction from players and managers, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes features (DAILY RECORD, 8/7).