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.

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  1. DAVID66 on 20TH NOVEMBER 2018 5:04 PM


    Good evening CQN from a freezing Garngad




    With regards the sky advert, can BR not sue sky for using his image as surely he would not agree to be in the background to a rookie manager.??




    D. :)

  2. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    I note Phil is now claiming Kudos for being part of the creation of Res12, you couldn’t mark it with a blow torch.

  3. why do celtic tv not allow games to be televised in the uk, I would gladly pay for celtic tv no matter the cost ,okay within reason,? what about you ghuys.hh.

  4. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    My son’s information earlier information was correct, Michael Johnston has signed a long term contract with us .

  5. mike in toronto on

    RAYC on 20TH NOVEMBER 2018 6:10 PM


    Any get together after AGM?



    I heard that PL is having everyone back to his place afterwards for drinks.




  6. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Bournesouprecipe, that Lawwell character is selfish wanting his name attached to all the good and not so good the club does lol

  7. Dallas,



    I was at the Barcelona game in 2004 and I remember it as being an Erie experience. The minute silence was impeccably respected by our support as the impact of the Madrid bombings was still just being absorbed.



    To this day I cannot forget the disgusting behaviour of a large section of the away support. I lost all sympathy and respect for Barcelona from that day. Rightly or wrongly it has prejudiced my view of Catalonia .




  8. Dundee Utd v Alloa tonight. Didn’t believe one of my work colleagues when he told me.


    Who arranged that fixture?

  9. Did McGregor actually receive a lifetime ban for International games for boozegate and, if so, when was it rescinded? Did I miss the teary-eyed apology?

  10. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Deniabhoy 7:25


    Absolutely. I think the “lifetime” part must have referred to the lifetime of the club he was playing for at the time!

  11. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    He’s got a fur lined sheepskin jacket


    My ma said they cost a packet


    She won’t even let me explain

  12. Pog


    McGregor is the most overrated goalkeeper ever. Wonder why the SMSM rate this fud so highly? Mmmm

  13. DD – tonight big Eck gives you the rabbit in the headlights approach


    Maybe the players will override him