Sky, BT, fewer watching TV and disenfranchisement


The most significant factor in how competitive or otherwise Celtic, or any other aspiring club in Europe is, is the value of TV rights for the Premier League in England and Wales. Next week, bids will be submitted for domestic rights packages from summer 2019 until 2022.

Things really got out of hand when the current deal was agreed three years ago. Sky increased their bid by 83%, they now pay £11m for every one of the 126 games broadcast each season. BT applied a more modest 18% increase, taking their cost per game to £7.6m. The League also banks international rights, as well as highlights and online packages.

What has changed in the last three years which will impact on the rights values?

On a corporate level, both Sky and BT have plenty to concern themselves with. BT’s consumer broadband and TV business is no longer growing in value, and it is shrinking in headcount. Annual revenue for this division is £1.26bn. The fee they pay to the Premier League each year is £320m.

Even more interesting is Rupert Murdoch’s decision to sell Sky TV along with his other entertainment divisions. Murdoch has had enough, Disney wait in the wings, pending regulatory permission for the deal to proceed.

I don’t think Murdoch is standing alone at the back of his yacht at night, contemplating the wisdom of a former newspaper rival. He is not in trouble, instead he wants out of the business.

Perhaps the most significant ingredient in the mix is the recent agreement for Sky and TV to sell both their Premier League sports channels to customers as a single package. Currently, Sky customers have to pay BT a premium to access BT Sports, and vice versa. If each broadcaster can access the others football package, the competitive frontier moves away from football, to areas like broadband provision.

With the January transfer window just closed, Premier League clubs are clearly not anticipating financial trouble from their paymasters, but the product as lost some of its early shine. TV audiences are on the wane, not just for English football, and not just for football either. This is a phenomenon for live sports in the US too. People just don’t watch as much television as they did five years ago.

So what does all this mean for us? During the Martin O’Neill era, Celtic were regularly in the Deloitte money list of the world’s highest earning 20 football clubs, and only five clubs in England paid more in wages. Since then, we have been disenfranchised from acquiring or retaining top talent.

English football could not afford to survive on the TV deal it had as recently as May 2016 (a 71% difference from the current deal). It would plunge into carnage and, perhaps, structural change. This could be a decade away, or it could happen next week.  But it will happen.

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  1. jeez_I_thought_blinker_was_pants on



    Ferry to Cacilhas, good restaurants and an elevator to go up to the “Christo Rei” statue.


    Day trip to Belem, monuments/monastery


    Cathedral in Alfama (Alfama on it’s own!!)


    Various Funiculars


    Various “Miradouros” (Viewpoints which give a panoramic view of the city)


    Tram 28


    Restaurant “Ramiro”…….I was there on Sunday night, excellent seafood and an outdoor “Beer Machine” , 2 Euros gets you a pint of Sagres while you are waiting for a table.


    Was at a bar called “Park” along from Bica Funicular, it is a rooftop bar, where you can witness the sunset at night, a bit “hipsterish” but do food as well, Pint and a Red wine 7.5 Euros

  2. The huns winning the Maryhill Cup again:))






    Graham Murtereee is bracing himself for an 8,000,000 bid from Indian Giants Delhi Dynamos FC for Joshyboy Windyass..



    Rupees CSC

  3. Melbourne Mick on

    Hello again all you young rebels.



    Don’t think i got an answer from my wee da’s story about the


    carrier pigeons back in the day fleeing the scores back to the


    news desks, a doo need an answer, a doo a doo a doo a doo.


    Oz Tims


    Just an early heads up regarding our St Patricks day event this


    year, our pub /club hosts are going all out to make it a huge


    success with beef and Guinness pies and boa buns on the


    menu giveaway prizes all day and the big rebel Richie McKay


    playing from 2 till 5, and for the young dudes like me and auld


    Paddy a D.J TILL 3 in the morn.


    It’s going to be a blast so get your tickets now as you know the


    whole town participates in this event.


    Mornington on the peninsula, the capitol of Rebelia. (8-))))))


    H.H Mick



    Hello again all you young rebels.



    Don’t think i got an answer from my wee da’s story about the carrier pigeons back in the day fleeing the scores back to the news desks, a doo need an answer, a doo a doo a doo a doo.



    *I did Mick it was related to the 1931 SC Final and “well supporters sending them back saying they won the cup. I take it you just scroll by me lol

  5. Melbourne Mick on

    Tontine Tim


    Sorry i missed your reply, with Oz being hours ahead of


    everybody it takes me a while to catch up but i assure you


    i read ever post i can and just mutter to myself the ones i


    disprove of.


    Thank you for verifying what my wee da told me, but i’m


    not sure now about Jimmy McGrory heading the pigeon into


    the net :8-))


    H.H Mick

  6. Regarding ‘noos by doos’ I remember in the car after we won the league at Easter Road, 1973? And we stopped somewhere about West Calder for a bag of chips, there was me and my brother, my dad and my grandpa.



    As we sat in the car eating our chips, and the traffic was bad, we were wondering if the rest of the household would know the result before we got home, and my grandma told us the story of the carrier pigeons…well, I was about 10 and my bro 8, and we started to laugh and laugh, we were uncontrollable, giddy on the memories of the game and my granda’s daft story.



    And it turns out it was probably true!



    What a day that was, the crush, the sunshine, the noise. Wonderful.

  7. Melbourne Mick on




    Noos by doos, loved that, just shows you never doubt the


    auld yins :8-))


    H.H Mick

  8. Think the main article is spot on. Interesting that the TBB a wee while ago, was so cynical about the FAPL bubble bursting, he’s a knowledgeable ghuy and seemed to have a point.



    But the viewing demographics all point one way… the (soon to be?) new owners of Sky have plenty of content and I’m sure through ESPN have got great insight into live sport’s future.



    The other thing that Paul67 touches on was that Sky were done like kippers in the last bidding round. It was thought that BT were going to be very aggressive, yet they were very smart, bidding and winning packages in or around the same cost where Sky over bid.



    What happens this time round will be very interesting. I’m sure the rate of increase in the value of the packages will go down, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised to see the bids down in real terms.



    We’ll see – who thinks there maybe interest in the “Old Firm” if the FAPL model starts looking value?



    Hail Hail




    Thanks for the heads up. I am back out in early July. Did the pilgrimage last year but you have highlighted a couple of things to do this year. Obrigado!


    I also recommend Cascais , like someone earlier. We jollied up there after the Stadio visit, a lovely wee place. HH

  10. glendalystonsils on

    BBC Scottish news ;



    Motherwell beat St. Johnstone 2-0



    Rangers (sic) beat Partick Thistle 2-0 to close the gap on second placed Aberdeen.



    Rangers beating Thistle 2-0 is apparently not glowing enough for the dear old Beeb.

  11. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42963128



    Was just reading this on the BBC and was thinking maybe we could start something similar – Positively Timmy :-)



    No shortage of material to fill the air with songs, satire and adverts aplenty to mock Minty, BoS, RFC, Sevco, SFA, SPFL, LNS, MSM, CCK, L5 + all goat botherers – whilst celebrating that uppity Timmy’s success.



    I baggsy being DJ for the first song to be played on air:-



    “Bhoys and ghirls, let’s spare a thought for all the poor souls out there whose past choices and allegiances have taken them to a dark, dark place. A place where honesty, integrity and sheer endeavour counts for nothing. A place where no one surrenders. A place where they are the peepul! A place where they dare not admit the truth. A place where they cannot find peace!



    Bhoys and ghirls, enjoy….”




  12. HEN1RIK @ 5:55 PM,



    Is this the real reason the media want Dempster & Petrie at the SFA ?



    That’s a very interesting piece, curious even. It’s main interest is it’s an English piece, quite different from the narrative in Scotland and I mean from all interested points of view. Here’s the article below with a few points bolded…



    “Did Rangers probe snub oust former Scottish FA chief Stewart Regan?



    By Charles Sale for the Daily Mail22:30, 05 Feb 2018, updated 08:37, 06 Feb 2018



    The departure of Stewart Regan as chief executive of the Scottish Football Association last week may have had more to do with a decision made last September than recent events.



    Regan’s surprise exit has been put down to a mixture of failing to attract Northern Ireland’s Michael O’Neill as manager, a lack of sponsorship deals, uncertainty over renewing the Hampden Park lease and the organisation of long-distance friendlies against Peru andMexico allegedly without Professional Game Board approval.



    But others believe the highly-rated Regan paid the price for alienating clubs, including all-powerful Celtic, when he was seen as the main voice behind the SFA’s rejection of a request from the Scottish Professional Football League to participate in an independent review into the handling of Rangers’ murky financial affairs.



    The SFA told clubs that ‘raking over the coals’ would further damage the image of the game in Scotland. Regan, who is prevented from speaking out by a confidentiality agreement, would not comment.



    Now I’ve bolded some points, not necessarily because they’re most important but because it’s an odd take.



    Regan’s surprise exit, really? The timing might have been unknown to most but hardly a surprise in Scotland, well overdue in fact.



    highly-rated Regan, again very odd, not an adjective associated with Stewart Regan, I mean by whom, it fails to say (definitely not in Scotland). Paul67 described the ex-SFA CEO as tainted, I would say he’s as tainted as a Sports Administrator in the same way Charles Ponzi was “tainted” as an Investment Manager.



    all-powerful Celtic,, Rangers’ murky financial affairs., Mmmmm, statements that you are very unlikely to see in the Scottish press.



    Maybe this is a clue… Regan, who is prevented from speaking out by a confidentiality agreement, would not comment.



    This seems to me a “friendly” Stewart Regan PR piece for English consumption, a guys got to earn a crust, right.



    Yet it is still very insightful, if this is indeed the view of SR then it seems that those who maintain he was a key defender and architect of Rangers and Newco were spot on.



    It suggests that despite the naysayers Celtic are very much at the heart of ensuring a review of the handling of “Rangers’ murky financial affairs” and associated wrongdoing is on the agenda.



    It could also suggest why the compliance officer has sat on the Res12 issue for five months, with “the highly-rated Regan” at the helm.



    And as for Dempster & Petrie and their ilk getting the Chief Executives role. Well absolutely, having one of the “let’s move on” brigade in position must be key for them.



    Hail Hail

  13. GENE on 6TH FEBRUARY 2018 2:12 PM





    In a word Duncaster




    Yes Doncaster couldn’t negotiate his way out of a wet paper bag but at the end of the day we ratified the deal so the plc must share a fair proportion of the blame for the crap TV deal in Scotland. We are the biggest club in Scotland so therefore have most to gain/lose from securing a good deal. At one point Lawwell was part of the negotiating team but I am unsure whether he still was when the SPFL deal was re-negotiated.



    The bottom line is Sky (and now also BT Sport) generate a fair chunk of income from their Scottish subscribers yet the amount paid to Scottish football is peanuts by comparison. Unfortunately, we are stuck with the SPFL deal till 2020.



    Any football supporter in Scotland who still subscribes to either or both broadcasters is actually contributing the the massive gulf that exists between the EPL and SPFL. An organised and effective boycott of Sky and BT Sport by Scottish subscribers would have a significant impact on their revenue streams and market shares. This would create the right environment for a better financial deal for Scottish football.

  14. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Word of The Day



    Therianthropic. /ˌθɪərɪənˈθrɒpɪk/





    1. (of certain mythical creatures or deities) having a partly animal, partly human form


    2. of or relating to such creatures or deities



    Derived Forms


    therianthropism (ˌθɪərɪˈænθrəˌpɪzəm) noun



    Word Origin


    C19: from Greek thērion wild animal + anthrōpos man





  15. Beijing Rehne, the Chinese Superleague club who had a bid of £8m rejected by Rangers for Alfredo Morelos in January, have moved on to other targets and are unlikely to make another bid for the striker. (Daily Express, print edition)


    Oh what a surprise, not!!!!


    Club no longer perusing bid that they never made in the first place.


    Hail Hail

  16. Some foreign millionaires wanted to buy my house for £1 million. It’s worth about a tenth of that.


    I turned them down.


    They told me they are now looking for other houses and are no longer interested in mine.


    I think if my house gets new gutters and I clean the windows it’s boubd to attract even bigger offers. If not then it’s great to know that I’ve got a £1 million house even though all the same houses in my street are only worth a tenth of that.



    I can prove it too. Here’s an extract from the email they sent:



    Can we buy your house for £1 million? Please??????






    Foreign billionaires

  17. From Moravcik 67.


    Wee update on next season’s CL qualifying. Obviously we need to win the league first. On current national league standings the play off seeds would be PSV PAOK Ludogorets and Salzburg.


    Celtic would be the 1st unseeded team.


    The Zenit games could be crucial.


    Even 1 draw from the 2 legs would take us above PAOK but also above Brugge and Galatasaray who are still in contention to win their national leagues.


    Hail Hail

  18. Good morning from a frosty north staffs



    Donald trump got one thing right when he said “BBC Fake News”



    Some foreign millionaires wanted to buy my house for £1 million. It’s worth about a tenth of that.


    I turned them down.




    They are presently looking at my house. I’ll keep you posted or mibbe naw.

  20. Level 5 and the huns trying to scam money from somewhere, using the £8 mil fake news as collateral……

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