SPFL confirm new Sky Sports TV deal, with SWPL and PPV games included
Hearts and Hibs supporters will once again get the chance to watch their favourites on pay-per-view after the SPFL confirmed a new £30 million extension to its Sky Sports TV deal.
The new agreement will see the broadcaster provide exclusive live coverage of up to 60 SPFL games per season from the 2024/25 campaign with scope to add further game bundles.
In addition, the number of games that can be shown from each Premiership ground increases from four to five.
The new deal could be worth nearly £30million by the 2028/29 season with each bundle reportedly worth £4million should Sky take on that option which could see the number of live games rise to 80.
With immediate effect clubs will now be able to sell pay-per-view streams within the UK and Ireland of up to five league home games per season as long as the fixture has not been selected by Sky Sports and doesn’t fall between the Saturday blackout of 2.45pm and 5.15pm.
Supporters had been able to watch any game from the comfort of their own home over the previous two seasons after the Covid-19 pandemic locked fans out of stadiums but Sky, as rights holders, previously refused permission for this to continue.
Hibs are one club to have already rescheduled a fixture outwith the Saturday blackout as the Easter Road club will host St Johnstone on the evening of Friday, October 21.
The TV deal has drawn criticism in some quarters. Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson believes the SPFL has undersold Scottish football by not testing the market further.
Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, said: “This is a very significant financial and promotional deal for the SPFL and I’m delighted our clubs have overwhelmingly supported deepening their relationship with the UK’s leading sports broadcaster. Today’s announcement represents a major financial boost for our 42 member clubs at a time when the UK economy is facing significant headwinds, and will increase the exposure of Europe’s most exciting and passionate league.
“We have much work to do to achieve our target of paying fees to member clubs of £50million per season – but this is an important and significant first step towards that target. Sky has an unparalleled track record of capturing the spectacle and passion of our sport and this partnership will bring Scottish football’s action-packed drama to an even wider audience.”
An exciting addition to the TV deal is the SWPL with Sky Sports providing exclusive coverage of at least five matches each season, starting with the 2022/23 campaign with an option for more.
The broadcaster will become an official partner of the SWPL and the title sponsor of the SWPL League Cup for the next seven seasons.
Fioan McIntyre, SWPL managing director, welcomed it as a “historic moment” and “an enormous step forward for the women’s game in Scotland”.
“This deal brings significant financial investment to the new leagues and enhances the visibility of the SWPL at this crucial time for the game,” she said.
“Our clubs have invested considerable resources and we can now see the rewards of that work, with increasing commercial interest. This deal will allow clubs to invest further and will put the SWPL on the map as one of the most progressive women’s leagues in the world.”