Sky, BT Sport Expected To Bid As Much As $11M For New SPFL Playoff Games
Scottish football "is set for a massive cash injection" from the sale of Scottish Professional Football League playoff matches, according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The new governing body "will enter negotiations with Sky and BT Sport for the rights to screen games which will decide who plays in the top flight." A bidding war "is expected from the rival companies" to land the six playoff matches. It is "unclear how much money could be made" but insiders said that a four-year deal could be worth in excess of £7M ($11M). The current TV contract, which has four years to run, "is only for league games," but the playoffs "have added a new dimension and the chance to significantly enhance revenue." Talks will start soon and it is expected Sky and BT -- which are replacing ESPN -- "will go all-out to land exclusivity to the format." The money gained "will then filter its way down the leagues." Scottish Premier League CEO Neil Doncaster said, "The key role of any league is to maximize the commercial benefits for the clubs. So I would expect the new SPFL board to be focused on doing its best to commercialize that league competition to the max for the benefit of all 42 clubs." Doncaster also revealed that the SPFL hopes "to have a new sponsor soon." He said, "You could have one sponsor for the entire organization, different sponsors for different divisions or any combination. Nothing is set in stone. I won’t do predictions but there is certainly more interest and more value to a combined league" (DAILY RECORD, 6/16).
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: In Glasgow, Mark Guidi reported Scottish Second Division side Rangers "could play a number of Second Division matches on Friday nights next term." The new broadcasters, BT Sport, "will look to schedule some Gers games and SPL clashes in that slot to maximise their viewing figures." BT Sport "will take over from ESPN at the end of July" and has bought the rights to 30 live SPL matches and 10 Gers games. No other football in the U.K. "is screened on a Friday and that’s why the time slot is so appealing" (DAILY RECORD, 6/16).
MP & SILVA, SPL PARTNER: The SPL announced that MP & Silva has been appointed as the SPL's overseas broadcast partner for nine years, from '14-15 until '22-23. The package offers all of the SPL's live televised matches each season (being at least 55) (MP & Silva).