BT’s successful £897m bid for UK Champions League and Europa League rights is one of the most significant commercial developments for Celtic in years – if we continue to qualify for the Champions League group stage.
This money, £299m per season, more than double the current deal, is paid directly to Uefa. What participating teams receive is directly linked to the value their domestic TV rights raise. If Scottish clubs participate, they earn 10% of the UK distribution.
Scottish Premiership TV rights are currently shared by BT and Sky but they are worth a fraction of what they went for the last time a competitor (Setanta) made a genuine challenge to Sky. It would literally take loose change from BT’s budget to remove Sky from the required list of providers for Scottish football fans. Whatever the next SPFL deal looks like, having two major players bidding should ensure it is worth a lot more money.
The same is true for English football rights. 20 years ago Sky built their UK business on the back of English Premier League broadcast rights. If BT want to supplant them in the TV market, enhance their ISP position and secure a lead in the emerging services on-demand market, English Premier League rights will be the major battleground.
BSkyB share prices is down around 10% today, reflecting the reality that they will either have to pay a whole lot more for the same rights in future, or they risk losing market share. I’d be very happy to dump Sky, which has recently resembled a tax on committed Scottish football fans without the corresponding revenue spend.
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The new CQN Annual will be rolling this week…….