ESPN Says It Has No Intention Of Ending Deal With Scottish Premier League
Sports broadcaster ESPN "could pull out of their deal to show Scottish football at the end of this season," according to Will Cooper of the SCOTSMAN. The sports network has a clause in its contract that allows it to "cancel the current deal, signed last summer," with the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League. Viewing figures for the SPL "have dipped this season, in part due to the loss of Rangers from the top flight, and the prospect of another tumultuous off-season with league realignment in the offing could prove a turn off" for TV networks (SCOTSMAN, 1/11). In Glasgow, Gregor Kyle wrote ESPN "has no intention of walking away from Scottish football -- despite stories to the contrary appearing in two national newspapers." The claims "have now been completely rubbished by an ESPN insider." The American broadcaster was, in keeping with standard practice, "unwilling to officially comment," but an insider said: "Yes, there is a release clause, which is the standard practise for all broadcasting contracts. But we have no intention of invoking it" (DAILY RECORD, 1/11).