Sky And ESPN Ink New Deals To Save Scottish Football
So much for utter financial collapse. While these are still troubling times for Scottish football, the announcement that Sky would ink a new deal to broadcast SPL games through 2017 puts some of the more pessimistic pronouncements in their place.
Sky will broadcast 30 Scottish league games a year including five Rangers games from the SFL third division.
ESPN followed up on the Sky announcement with a new contract of their own. They will broadcast even more games annually: 30 SPL games and 10 Rangers games from the SFL.
Scottish football must be seen as a bigger priority for ESPN in the context of their recent loss of a Barclays Premier League package. Having the rights to more live games, games that would be of interest to a domestic British audience, was clearly a priority for the channel.
Scottish football can thank a broadcaster desperate to maintain its market share after the loss of a key asset.
ESPN's coverage of the Scottish football season will begin Sunday with Dundee United against Hibernian. Followed by the Edinburgh derby on 12 August and Celtic's versus Ross County on August 18.
No specific details have been released about the coverage of newly relegated Rangers.
ESPN statement below:
The Clydesdale Bank Premier League, Irn Bru Scottish Football League and ESPN have reached a multi-year deal for rights to Scottish football from next season through 2017.
The agreement means ESPN's channels in the UK and Ireland will next season screen 40 live and exclusive matches from both leagues - more than ever before and ten more than in previous seasons on ESPN.
Under the deal, 30 Clydesdale Bank Premier League games will be shown on ESPN over the season alongside ten Rangers games from the Irn Bru Scottish Football League, including three home Rangers fixtures.
ESPN's live and exclusive televised SPL fixtures confirmed so far** are:
August 5 - Dundee United v Hibernian - 13.00 BST
August 12 - Hibernian v Hearts - 12.30 BST
August 18 - Ross County v Celtic - 12.15 BST
ESPN's coverage of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League has broken new ground in bringing fans access, innovation and opinion, and is led by Ray Stubbs with commentary from Derek Rae and Craig Burley and matchday reporting from Darrell Currie.
In addition to ESPN's live and exclusive TV coverage, fans can catch coverage of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League 24/7/365 online and on mobile with ESPN.co.uk and
ESPNFC.com, the sports media company's recently-announced worldwide multimedia football initiative.
Live HD television coverage of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League on ESPN is complemented by the company's coverage of the Barclays Premier League, the FA Cup, Aviva Premiership Rugby, UEFA Europa League, multiple weekly German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A matches and much more.
**Details of ESPN's televised coverage of Rangers' SFL matches will be confirmed in due course
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