FOOTBALL: Sky Sports & ESPN agree new five-year SPL deal


The Scottish Premier League has renewed its broadcast deal with Sky Sports and ESPN to screen games from Scotland’s top flight for a further five years.

Both broadcasters will continue to show 30 live matches per season from 2012/13 to the end of the 2016/17 season, with Sky Sports maintaining their exclusive coverage of every Old Firm match.

SPL chiefs said that the clubs agreed the new TV contract on “improved terms”, with reports suggesting a 24% increase on the previous deal, which should see the league net more than £80m over five years.

Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive of the SPL, said: “Sky Sports and ESPN are two of the biggest names in sports broadcasting and the SPL has enjoyed an excellent relationship with both broadcasters over the course of the current contract, a period which has seen a 28% increase in viewing figures.

“In the current economic climate, announcing an increase in value is excellent news for our clubs. We are very much looking forward to working with both broadcasters over the coming seasons to continue to raise the profile of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and provide fans with excellent coverage of their league.”

Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: “We’re delighted to agree this deal with the SPL and continue our partnership with Scottish football that began 20 years ago.

“This long-term agreement means Sky Sports viewers can continue to enjoy coverage of 30 live matches a season, including each Old Firm head-to-head, across TV, mobile, online and tablet devices.”

Ross Hair, Managing Director, ESPN – Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Scottish football has performed well on ESPN as we work to build our brand locally and develop our long-term business.

“We are very proud of the coverage that we have delivered to fans and are very pleased that they have responded with great support and an increasing connection to ESPN on TV and across digital media.

We are very excited to continue our coverage and pleased to extend a great partnership with the league.”

Sky Sports and ESPN took over the rights to screen SPL matches in July 2009, after agreeing a joint £65 million deal following the collapse of previous rights holder Setanta Sports.

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