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. If anyone travels a great distance regularly especially our Irish contingent to see the famous Glasgow Celtic I have a 2 bedroom flat ( which is usually advertised on airbnb ) available for anytime you come over , if you fly into Glasgow airport I can pick you up, no hotel can beat that , get my Info/email from Paul 67, will check back later.

  2. The wife’s now making me watch I’m a celeb’ and the strange thing is Harry Redknapp has been telling us for years how good a footballer Jamesy Forrest is…he always mentions him when talking about Scottish football.



    Well, I thought it was strange.



    Who was Brendan watching?



    McKenna? Bates!?



    Or is Andy Robertson going to run his contract down?



    Anyway, I hear Celtic are signing Louis Moult on January 1st.




  3. SCB


    A crackin Ayrshire Tim wi explosive pace and loadsa goals.


    Lennox or Forrest? Or both? ?



  4. Gene


    Sadly big Red is a big Riddy. I have no time for EBT Eck. He is an embarrassment as our National manager. Feel sorry for him a wee bit. He is behaving very strangely. Crazy watching his post match interview. He is ill or pissed drunk?

  5. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Greenpinata at 7.22 , my apologies for not replying sooner.



    The Barca fans who did not observe the minute’s silence would have brought unwelcome bad publicity to their club and city but it was not unexpected the silence would be interrupted by them.



    Sky sports news tried to make false claims re our support booing during the minute’s silence and jeering Henrik when he came on.



    Our support were , I believe jeering the Barcelona player Henrik was replacing.



    I hope the scoring run James is on , continues for a long time.

  6. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Thank you.



    My raising this issue was related to the integrity of the blog and to nothing else.

  7. Congratulations to Scotland on their win tonight and on winning the group. Lots of great performances from our own 3 Bhoys and the likes of Fletcher, Armstrong, McKenna and Fraser. A wonderful save from McGregor near the end. Well done to all involved.



    I’m worried some EPL team or the likes of Leipzig might come in in January and make us a crazy offer for Jamesie. He’s an unbelievable talent and is destroying defences at the moment.

  8. BB


    I have thought that Johnny Russell would have been a great Celtic player since his Dundee United days. Celtic supporter who would love to live his dream of playing for Celtic. Robert Snodgrass similar.



  9. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Jamesie always seems to me to be at his best when moving inside or coming through the middle and running at defences.

  10. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Scottish born Martin Boyle scores two for the Aussies.



    Now Christened the ” Scoteroo.”

  11. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    The difference tonight, in both teams, were those who passed through Parkhead’s Gates.



    The speed of though, passing and link up play,was ahead of any other player in blue.



    I thought that Armstrong, understandably tired after an hour. He has hardly played this season.



    The Treble Towers of Paterson, Bates and Mc.Kenna, were lost until late in the game when Israel reverted to an aerial bombardment. They won every high ball then.


    On the ground.






    A.Mc.Gregor did his best to give the visitors a point.



    His game was summed up by his lack of height and reach for the first and possibly second goal, but the one thing he does have is quick reflexes, as in the point blank extended arm late on.



    All in all, happy for the Celtic boys, past, present and nearly.



    I saw a song on Twitter earlier re James,



    Something like :-



    Wee Jamsie Forrest on the right


    He is, (sweary word) dynamite.

  12. Delighted with the results from Scotland’s last two games although that happiness is anchored by the fact that we’ll be stuck with McCleish for the foreseeable.



    Wee Forest’s confidence and self belief will be sky high on the back of these two games. He’s took his game to another level under Brendan.A player I’ve always valued.



    Christie looks totally comfortable in the international stage and is developing nicely.



    These games and the experience gained by the hoops players will benefit Celtic massively in the long term imo.




  13. TTT


    Under Ronny D, I thought James was going backwards and would never be a Celtic Great.


    Tonight I devour humble pie.


    Magical James Forrest.


    Surprised By The Joy of this.


    Richard Ashcroft CSC



  14. timabhoy



    my wife and i are thinking on coming over next year, and would be looking to stay in a airbnb.ould you



    do you have a web site or should i give you my email.



    thanks in advance.







    Jamesie always seems to me to be at his best when moving inside or coming through the middle and running at defences.




    I would agree with you. His ‘classic’ goal is cutting inside and bending the ball round the goalie into the far corner with the outside of his right foot.



    I’ve always been a huge fan. Love him to bits. I’m so glad he’s getting the rewards for his great play.

  16. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Brendan , some time back , pointedly mentioned that James didn`t have a ” song”.


    Which suggested to me that he may feel underappreciated.



    Hope that matter will now be rectified.



    The theme of Brendan`s tenure.


    The improvement of existing players.


    Long may it continue.

  17. DELANEYS DUNKY on 20TH NOVEMBER 2018 11:22 PM





    That was Patrick Roberts’ song.



    James Forrest deserves an original song.







    Every day’s a school day. I never knew that. Perhaps because I’m hard of hearing! ?


    Jamesie certainly deserves an original song of his own but if the fans want to sing this one, I’ll definitely join in!

  18. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on







    My question answered before it was asked.

  19. DBhoy


    Wow! Magical chords.


    Have never heard that and thought I knew The Verve. Thanks for posting and educating me.


    Richard Ashcroft CSC



  20. Hi Timhorton


    Next year fine ! you would need to ask paul67 for my email address as its not wise to splash it on the blog as undesirables could bombard you with hunmail , Paul if you see this post can you give anyone who asks for my email address give it to them thanks .