SPL AWARDS LIVE TV RIGHTS TO SKY SPORTS AND ESPN IN THE UK AND IRELAND
The Scottish Premier League today awarded Sky Sports and ESPN the exclusive live rights to Clydesdale Bank Premier League games for the next five seasons in the UK and Ireland. The deal will cover three years initially, with the SPL having a two-year extension option.
Each broadcaster will show 30 live games each season across the UK and Ireland, starting with the 2009-10 campaign this August.
Announcing the deal, Lex Gold, Chairman of the SPL, said: “We are pleased that in just over three weeks we have been able to strike this deal. Sky and ESPN are two of the biggest names in sports broadcasting and they will bring first class production standards and a wide audience to the table. We are looking forward to working with both in the coming years to raise the profile of the SPL for our clubs, fans and partners.”
“We’re delighted that ESPN will broadcast live Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League matches from this season, adding to our growing portfolio of world renowned live sport,” said Lynne Frank, ESPN Managing Director in Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We look forward to working with the Scottish Premier League and its clubs over the next few years and beyond as we bring British and Irish sports’ fans all the SPL action and excitement live on our new ESPN and ESPN HD channels.”
Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: “This new deal gives Sky Sports viewers 30 live matches a year, including each of the Old Firm games, all in HD. And it gives the Scottish Premier League clubs stability and continued investment from committed partners. Sky Sports has covered the Scottish game since our launch 18 years ago – we are long term supporters. We are now looking forward to showing the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, alongside Scotland internationals and the Scottish Cup, for the next five years.”
The Clydesdale Bank Premier League matches will air on Sky Sports and ESPN. ESPN has already reached an agreement for its coverage to be retailed by Sky to residential and commercial customers. ESPN is also in discussions with other Pay-TV platforms in the UK for the ESPN channel.