In an exciting new deal for lovers of Scottish football, Sky Sports has confirmed that it will become the exclusive broadcaster of Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership content from 2020.
After fighting it out with other established broadcasters such as BT, Sky Sports has agreed on a five-year deal with the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).
£100 million package
According to news sources in the UK, Sky was miles ahead of BT with the £100m ($128m) package offering. It will be part of the “Sky Football” programming scheduled for 2020.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Sky Sports will also continue to deliver coverage of each leg and final of the playoffs from the Sky Bet Championship, League One, and League Two. Sky will also continue its commitment to domestic cup competitions, with 15 matches broadcast each season from the Carabao Cup, along with the semi-finals and final of the Checkatrade Trophy.
At least 20 EFL games broadcast per season will be chosen from Sky Bet League One and League Two matches, with 16 more from the championship games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
SPFL ‘delighted’ with partnership
In a quote given to the media, Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL, commented: “I am delighted that we have been able to secure an exclusive partnership with the UK’s leading sports broadcaster. This deal demonstrates Sky Sports’ commitment to showcasing the pinnacle of Scottish football.”
Audience figures were a big driver behind the record bid. Sky Sports confirmed that this is its most significant commitment to Scottish football, having recorded an 87% increase in Ladbrokes Premiership audiences.
Barney Francis, Sky Sports UK managing director, said: “This is a hugely exciting time for Scottish football – something that has been reflected in the number of fans tuning in to watch on Sky Sports.
“With more games, in-game clips, and highlights of every single Ladbrokes Premiership clash, fans won’t miss a minute. Add in live coverage of Scotland’s Nations League campaign, and every European Championship and World Cup Qualifier, and we’ve really got the Scottish game covered.”
What else to expect?
An additional eight rounds of Sky Bet Championship fixtures will be added on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. These matches will be broadcast simultaneously with other championship games on a different channel than those chosen for the main broadcast.
There’s also further use of the red button as Sky Sports confirms it will continue to broadcast midweek Sky Bet Championship games via the red button and other interactive services. This was instigated at the start of the season and has proven popular.
There is a complicated arrangement as to which Sky Bet Championship side will be featured, but the agreement promises them equality. Each side will have at least two home games chosen for live broadcast per season, while no League One or League Two team will be featured more than four times, excluding final-day games.
EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey added: “The Board looks forward to continuing the excellent relationship and partnership it has with Sky Sports. It is a partnership that, as well as having the necessary financial benefits, provides the EFL with the platform to maximize reach and exposure for its competitions.”