BT Sport is reportedly eyeing up an exclusive broadcast deal for the TV rights to the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) with a record breaking bid intended to shut out competitors Sky.
BT are after exclusive rights to highly anticipated Rangers & Celtic games as well as an additional 60 Scottish Premier League Fixtures and are expected to break the record to secure the deal.
Currently BT Sport and Sky share rights to 60 SPFL games and pay a combined sum of £21m a season for the rights, with BT Sport holding the exclusive rights for coverage of the league cup until 2020.
The current contract for league games isn’t due to expire until the end of the 2019-20 season, however, according to the Daily Mail, BT has already held several discussions with league officials regarding a record breaking bid which would eliminate rivals Sky from the bidding process.
It will all come down to numbers. There is a value in Scottish football and BT Sport appreciate that. The matter should move forward next year.
The news come after BT recently won the rights to a £1.82bn, three-year deal to broadcast the UEFA Champions League. This deal also included a highlights package for social media, showing BT Sports commitment to an adapting digital landscape.
Following Rangers departure from the Premiership in 2012 and the collapse of Setanta’s UK operation in 2009 the league’s commercial revenue has fallen. With Rangers back in the top flight the historic Old Firm clash is once again a regular season fixture and as a result broadcasters’ appetites have increased.
With increased speculation and attention on the league the rivalry with Sky for football has intensified, BT Sport’s bid could exceed the £31m a season which Setanta paid in 2008.
Sky is expected to hold its own discussions with SPFL chairman in the coming months to discuss future broadcast deal.
Deputy Editor & Social Media Specialist