Celtic, SPFL left disappointed by Sky deal

By Euan Davidson

May 18, 2021

They had a captive audience, but Sky have short-changed Celtic and SPFL fans this season.

In a report from the Scotsman, it was revealed that the broadcasting giant had only shown 41 of 48 possible matches. Given that Sky had exclusive rights to the league, and a captive audience due to Covid-19, it’s more than a little bit disappointing.

The same report claimed that Sky had said “they had shown more Scottish football than ever before with all 12 teams featured in the first month of the season when 13 fixtures were live”. However, with the price of subscription, the confusion over PPV deals and all the rest, it feels as if supporters are being undercut.

Celtic, for their part, didn’t help. While a suite of games were made available to Sky Sports, the club only granted Season Ticket holders access to a number of key clashes. Granted, plenty of Celtic supporters will have been glad to have missed out this season.

Plenty of SPFL fans will be harking back to the BT Sports days. Sky Sports’ coverage has been criticised in the past for its inaccuracies.

Andy Walker at Celtic Park / (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Issues between Celtic and Sky Sports have been numerous this season

Leaving the Pass to Paradise stuff to one side, the issues between Sky Sports and Celtic have been contentious, and if anything, pretty strange.

For example, the petition to stop Kris Boyd covering Celtic matches. The former Rangers striker and professional wind-up merchant has very little of value to add to football analysis, yet he keeps getting brought on. It’s his job, literally his job, to wind up supporters and create content for days to come.

On the other end of the scale, Andy Walker has got into trouble for being a different kind of anti-Celtic. His criticisms were shared by many in the support, after the Dubai farce. Rumour is he’s now banned from Paradise, where he used to support and play for the Bhoys. Whether anything comes of it is anyone’s guess, though.

Punditry is one thing, though, and it’d be forgivable if we could actually all watch the matches. SPFL clubs and Sky Sports have agreed that sides will be able to air their own matches [Scotsman] in 21-22. Hopefully, with Covid vaccine roll-out, that’ll be less of a necessity for many supporters. But to the audience watching worldwide, or those who can’t get to matches for another reason, these services are vital.

It’s all just very expensive, isn’t it? And when the broadcaster are reluctant to show all the games they’re entitled to, it feels like a total rip-off.

Bring back Setanta. Or maybe not.

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