BT snaps up Scots TV games

TELECOMS firm BT is to buy broadcaster ESPN's rights to screen SPL and Rangers SFL games for the next four years.

Loading Comments
Share
Print

The shock move, which is understood to have cost tens of millions of pounds, will take effect from next season.

It means BT – whose chief executive is Ian Livingstone, a non-executive director of Celtic – will take on the rights to show 30 SPL and 10 Rangers games in the SFL Third Division each season until 2017.

They will be shown as part of the new BT Sport TV package set to launch in July.

BT is also taking on all ESPN's other UK and Ireland TV channels, but ESPN Classic is not part of the BT deal.

BT's live sport will include English Premier League games and Aviva Premiership Rugby on channels BT Sport 1 and 2.

It will show the Scottish games, as well as FA Cup, Europa League, Bundesliga and Emirates Cup games on an ESPN-branded channel.

Customers will still able to subscribe through Sky or Virgin – as well as BT Vision.

But viewers have been assured nothing will change until the end of the current season.

A spokesman for ESPN said: "ESPN viewers will see no changes until the completion of the deal and regulatory approval, which could come at the end of July.

"Until then customers will have the same channel, the same coverage and the same service. Thereafter is a matter for BT."

At the start of next season viewers will have the option to sign up with BT.

Sky has four years left on a deal it signed last summer giving it the rights to show 30 SPL matches and five Rangers SFL matches per season.

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster has called the acquisition "positive for the Scottish game".

He said: "It means top-flight football will continue to be broadcast by Sky Sports and now BT, providing a solid financial bedrock and the best possible platform to promote the game in Scotland."

linzi.watson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

116761

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

Yorkhill does great work and Black Friday

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You Couldn't Make This Up

Glass of wine saves my day but not my diet

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.