Sky TV, brand affinity, masquerading insight


Do you remember the early days of Sky Sports?  They raised the bar for football coverage on television, which had been limited in the scope of cameras deployed, production skills and incident analysis.  When Sky arrived, the number of cameras at a game went from two to 12.  Time was dedicated to the pre-match build-up and you were learning things about the game from analysts, who knew more than you.

We liked Sky, they put money into our game and gave us a more enjoyable viewing experience.  There was what media people call brand affinity with the broadcaster.  Let’s remember where we were before that time.  As recently as 1995, Charlie Nicholas co-commentated for 15 minutes telling us the score was Rangers 1-1 Celtic, when the Rangers goal had been disallowed for offside.  An entire match production team at Ibrox didn’t know the score.

While Sky continued to improve the quality of their premium output, their efforts at delivering Scottish football content has dropped off a cliff.  Even those who work with the broadcaster tell me they are not interested in our game, an insight that scarcely needs to be stated.

Yesterday’s announcement by Sky that they secured rights to the SPFL for five seasons, pushing out BT Sport in the process, was Ratner-esque in the delivery of a business message.  The graphic featured Brendan Rodgers, a Celtic crest, Steven Gerrard and a Newco crest.  The message was clear: there are only two teams in this league we care about.  Even I was offended, despite my team featuring.  Consider where brand affinity is now.

We will all miss BT Sport, especially big Chris, but I’m not sharing the love with them.  Their production standards were excellent, but if they were not prepared to pay for the product, they cannot retain the rights.  The League only has discretion on these matters if the difference in bids is marginal, which it was not on this occasion.

So we are left with Sky, who still employ Charlie Nicholas, and who has never been short of a word (unless asked to contribute to a cause by Celtic), but has never provided insight into anything. Ever.  And there’s Andy Walker, who sent viewers off air telling them Celtic still had work to do to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, despite the whole of Europe knowing they secured just that.  People who do not know the score of a game they are commentating on, and do not know why 60,000 people are celebrating a result!  This is their business, and they know less about it than you.

I hope the money Sky have put in means they will take us more seriously but I remain to be convinced.  Stay tuned for five long years of mindless stating of the obvious, or ill-informed speculation about schisms masquerading as value-added insight.  Is it any wonder the new media find such a fertile audience?  Andy Gray must be spinning in his misogynist-bordello-themed 7am pub.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. When watching any Scottish games on Sky, I don’t switch on for the pre match (meager as it is), switch over during time and switch off at full time. That way I can avoid the inane ramblings of the vacuous trio of McQueen, Boyd and Commons, meaning I only have to suffer the incessant negativity of Mr Mogadon Walker whilst watching the game

  2. SoT




    I had never heard of her. Don’t know how I missed her, but I did. But that is great stuff! Thanks for sharing that! Know what I will be doing this weekend … looking for and reading, listening to her stuff! Much appreciated pal.

  3. DILLIGAFBHOY on 20TH NOVEMBER 2018 12:32 PM



    Was reading that earlier. We are big players in the Scottish ( Glasgow in particular ) economy and that should be reflected in adequate transport infrastructure .




  4. Think you will find it was the self proclaimed “voice of football” who prattled on about Rangers equaliser 15 mins after it had been flagged for offside.

  5. I think you have confused the culprits in both cases of broadcasting whoppers which you site. The man in question was Gerry McNee in both cases. When he finally was informed of the correct score at Obrox and that David Robertson’s goal had been disallowed he put it down to ‘being caught up in the ‘rushes’ whatever that technical jargon might mean. On the occasion of us beating Manchester United, he informed viewers that it was an excellent result for Celtic but we had not qualified yet though we had given ourselves an excellent chance.



    Other bloomers by the same Ego: he told a Rangers supporter to get off the line, calling him a moron when the Rangers man said that he had information that Maurice Johnston would sign for Rangers rather than Celtic some weeks before Mo became Judas Iscariot.


    Gerry also had a rant about Wee Fergus planning to build a 60000 seater stadium. “He’ll never fill it. 40000 is more than enough.”



    Kev loves him mind you.

  6. If anyone has a spare for the cup final or knows anyone that might be selling one, please let me know. I can be contacted through Paul67.



    I’m making the trip over to Scotland to spend a few days with the family and a trip to the game would be the icing on the cake. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.

  7. By pumping 5 times as much into the EFL it creates the financial gap that will English Championship and Div 1 teams able to pay players more than we can afford. Never mind the EPL.



    Makes me weep to think how much Tierney can be earning but he is playing for us. I will never begrudge players who leave for more money, who among us wouldn’t.



    But over the next 5 years, the talent we can attract will diminish considerably. And therefore the Scottish game to be ridiculed once again.



    And it is Sky who have created this abyss.

  8. Paul67



    ” It’s worse than that he’s dead Jim. ”



    SKY aren’t backing the ‘old firm ‘ that died before 2012. SKY are backing standalone skint Sevco, if you can’t see that in the new contract , you can see it before your very eyes with Seethen Gerrard ‘a full English’ face, in your face, with minimised Brendan Rodgers and all his trebles grimming it out, but firmly in the background.



    SKY and money are the root cause of modern football as we know it, including all its ills all the way from Sepp Blatter down to the face painter



    SKY’s owners are tickled by the appearance of Seethen Gerrard in ‘region Scotland’ and love the notion of an Englishman beating the Irish and Scots and have come up with more sweetie money for Croker, Walker, and Nicholas to fan the flames.



    A dreadful day for Scottish Football a dreadful day for all Jock Tamson’s bairns and a vote for the Paul Casgoignesque rascist English mentally that runs through the spine of Scotlands shame masquerading as present day Sevco 5088.

  9. Bournesouprecipe



    Eloquently put. Very depressing news. It’s the thought of 5 years of having to endure it but Paul is absolutely right that BT Sport failed to put up the money. They wanted it on the cheap. They failed their audience.

  10. SuperSutton on 20th November 2018 12:56 pm



    EFL deal is £595m over 5 years for 138 games per season. £862k per game


    SPFL deal is £160m over 5 years for 48 games per season. £667k per game

  11. glendalystonsils on




    A gold star for that final paragraph.



    AND… get to take the milk crate back to the Janny.

  12. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Anyone know if the four games they are interested in have been guaranteed?


    And if they are only interested in four games why not just give them those four games? It completely messes up kick off times .

  13. traditionalist88 on

    This is their business, and they know less about it than you.





    Still awaiting the backlash from those who refuse to hear criticism of the ‘professionals’ !!!



    Like any time anyone connected with our club is criticised, you are criticising professionals, therefore you are wrong!



    They’re keeping strangely quiet on this one.




  14. Celtic and Celtic fans, contribute more to the Scottish economy every year than SKY pay for 5 years of football to the SFA. So how much do SKY make for their contribution? They’re not doing it for nothing.




  15. traditionalist88 on

    Two points on the rights deal.



    * Skys coverage can’t get much worse/basic and it is in their interest to make it as good as it can be.



    * As for the BT love in, we’ve known for years our game is undervalued compared to others yet many would have you believe we should have awarded the rights to BT for significantly less money because they have a couple of better employees ‘on the ground’ sorting out the coverage?!




  16. Paul67 et al



    I reckon Celtic’s share of the new Sky deal will be the equivalent of the gate receipts for one Champions League match at Celtic Park per season. In return for twenty ruined weekends. Not a pittance but a very poor return.


    Interestingly on the same subject I read yesterday that some EFL clubs, notably Leeds, Villa and Derby, want the EFL to abandon their own five year deal with SKY, arguing, one, the deal is too long, and two it undervalues televised games. But that is the point of the whole exercise isn’t it?

  17. jimthetim53



    Cqn’s “exclusive” poll is so exclusive it won’t even let us vote in it.


    Par for Scottish football when you think about it.

  18. mike in toronto on




    A nice offer, but it could be dangerous …. it will be like Spartacus on here as everyone who doensn’t have a ticket claims to have played golf with you …



    “I’m S who played golf with you..”



    “No I’m S who played golf with you!”



    “Ignore those imposters, I’m S who played golf with you…”




  19. MIT,



    Aye thanks for the concern, but I tend not to give out my email to just anyone, and I bin any emails from addresses I don’t recognise, (or from those I don’t wish to converse with).



    The real S will know! If it is the lad I think it is, he thoroughly deserves a shot at the final.