Hopes of Celtic European football returning to free-to-air television look to be dashed.
The Times report this weekend that broadcaster ITV are set to withdraw their interest in a takeover of BT Sport, leaving streaming service DAZN as the most likely outlet to take on the rights BT hold.
BT have been in talks with potential partners over the last few weeks regarding a sale of all, or part of, their sports arm.
That includes coverage of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League – two competitions of great interest to Celtic and the club’s supporters.
The Times say giants Amazon, Disney and Discovery have failed to show an appetite for investment too. That means subscription-based broadcaster DAZN are in pole position.
No return to the glory days of free Champions League football
I don’t know about you, but my interest in Champions League football was at an all-time high when ITV and STV held the rights to the competition.
There was something magical about a reduced number of matches being selected for Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
As soon as it moved to Sky Sports, and then BT Sport, it all lost a bit of prestige.
As far as the cost of being a Celtic supporter goes, having matches available on a free-to-air service would have been a bonus too.
Fans are already having to shell out for Sky Sports, Premier Sports and BT Sport to legally watch every broadcasted Celtic match throughout a season.
That’s expensive, especially in addition to season tickets.
This is a situation we’ll continue to watch, with BT Sport’s future up in the air.