SPFL chief Neil Doncaster signals end of Celtic Pass To Paradise streaming service next season
Celtic season ticket holders are facing a scrapping of the ‘Pass To Paradise’ streaming service due to a resumption of the status quo contract with Sky Sports.
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster has suggested that the agreement with Sky Sports to broadcast matches in Scotland during so-called ‘blocked hours’ will not continue into the 2022/23 campaign.
Sky Sports allowed SPFL clubs to stream matches to their paying supporters due to uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic and an inability for some fans to make it to games even though they had season tickets.
However, Doncaster’s comments this week are bad news for those who use the service.
He told The Press & Journal: “We’re very grateful for the help Sky Sports have given us over the past two years, allowing our clubs to stream games.
“Effectively there has been a suspension of article 48, which is the blocked hours.
“The blocked hours mean you can’t broadcast between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday.
“I would expect blocked hours to resume from this summer and we’ll return to a world where you need to attend the game to see it. But football broadcasting remains an ever-changing landscape.”
The Pass To Paradise was obviously essential to watch Celtic games when they were taking place behind closed doors. It was a fine solution to keep allowing us to watch the Bhoys while putting money into the club.
This season it’s become less ubiquitous but still a handy fallback for supporters who had season tickets but couldn’t make the odd game, whether due to Covid-19 related reasons or otherwise.
It’s unfortunate it can’t continue as a nice bonus for paying supporters. I’m also not sure what benefit Sky Sports gets from denying Saturday broadcasts.
However, if Doncaster is saying this publicly then it must be on the cards. There has also been no mention of it in the Celtic season ticket renewal campaign so be prepared for next year!