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. GreeninbingleyinOslo on

    Mikey Johnston on a five-year deal. Excellent!



    Following Tom, Kieran, Griff, Ollie, Odsonne, Jamesie. Is CalMac signed up yet?



    See this signing up the heart of a great team for the long term? It’ll never catch on.



    Signing Benkovic and Boyata in January would be a nice wee statement of intent.

  2. JTT53


    Allan McGregor was a boyhood Hibs fan. He made a pact with beelzebub, the day he signed for Rangers. They all change when they sign for Satan’s 11.






    Add a striker and a right back and that would be a great transfer window..



    D. :)

  4. Pog


    If I can source a ticket for Hamilton, yes I will be there. May jump through on train fae Dalmuir and buy a spare.



  5. JinkyRS


    Hope so. Grant and McFadden have no clue either.


    How did it come to this Scotland?

  6. BBC Scotland’s sports news correspondent Chris McLaughlin



    There was hope that the value of the new TV deal would reflect the new feel-good factor that’s attached itself to Scottish football in recent years –




    New feel good factor?

  7. Sadly, neither Celtic Supporters nor The Tartan Army have a song for James Forrest. Surely we should.


    Mon the hat trick here wee man.



  8. What is the Stars on

    I know there are many on here who are indifferent to say the least about Scotlands soccerball team, but great to see the celtic boys playing so well.


    2 crackers from Jamesie, 2nd one with a fine assist from Ryan Christie and earlier a cracking shot from Calmac

  9. prestonpans bhoys on

    So put Celtic players in this team and it ticks. WGS learned that too late, anyway don’t have sky nor would I listen to the BBC, so Dads Army for me

  10. Wits


    You would think the SFA would be grateful of all the hard work hat Brendan and his backroom staff have put into this national team,but sadly……………………..

  11. 50 shades of green on




    Great news about Mikey Johnston.






    Can never have enough Micks in the team ?