TV deal rebates will finally burst the bubble


For 20 years that scourge of Scottish football has been that it does not have a high-earning TV deal.  Today, the scourge of the English Premier League is having to compensate for the world’s highest earning domestic TV deal.

The League have recommended they give a rebate of £330m to broadcast partners, Sky, BT, Amazon and BBC to compensate for loss of this season’s fixtures – even if the games are rescheduled in June and July.

TV rights are not just about the game itself, the slots are also important.  You have watched Celtic on a Friday night because these slots are less valuable than Sunday afternoons, which, at Sky, are given over to the more valuable English league.  Even the time of year is important.  The Christmas fixtures, which take place in the run up to the event and during January sales, are more valuable, as their advertising slots command higher fees.

Advertising rates have plummeted since the crisis and will not rebound soon, meaning Sky, BT and Amazon’s affiliated income will be down correspondingly.   The broadcasters also complain that a behind closed doors product is less watchable than a game taking place in a packed stadium – throwing back at the Premier League one of their golden sales pitches.

There is an assumption that with a comprehensive (and expensive) testing process, English football will be able to complete this season’s fixtures, but games are around a month away and with lockdown easing, infection rates could be as volatile as results across the summer months.  A £330m rebate could seem like good value if even behind closed door games are not available.

For 16 years I have been writing “Just because the English TV deal bubble hasn’t burst, doesn’t mean it is not a bubble”.  The product is first class and it has been key to generating huge broadcast revenues in the UK and for foreign partners throughout the world.

The finest minds in sports business are now trying to keep this brand afloat, which is why I suspect this £330m rebate is a good deal for all, but the opening salvos on rebates for next season have already been fired, and the next rights deal will be agreed later this year.

When the SPFL are considering delaying prime games until there is a higher chance of fan attendance to keep next season’s deal afloat, you get an insight into what screws are being turned in England.  Sky, BT and Amazon are not charities; games did not take place during the period agreed, contracts have been breached, there will be a price to pay.

If the bubble does not burst due to the crisis, it may be made of titanium.  Still, at least they are not the English Football League, keep your eye on the Championship…

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  1. Slabhoy - on the road to 10 on

    I had a request from Sky to participate in a survey just the other day. One of the Qs was along the lines of “would you cancel Sky if we did not have EPL football”



    Read into that what you will. I reckon they are exploring options. I replied that I would not ;-)

  2. whitedoghunch on



    thank you


    Half my skull is Titanium if you need any baackground on that


    HUNDERBIRDSAREGONE essentials for wee hospital stays Nivea for your lips


    A wee fan


    Nut bars to give nutrition the food certainly will not have

  3. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    Potentially massive news.



    Paul67 in a recent article and again today you have hinted at opportunities for Scottish clubs emanating from the English Championship and their predicament.



    Are you referring to picking up some good signings, or something bigger like league/club amalgamation, or both, or neither?!




  4. The Huddersfield Chairman warned that nearly every club in the football league will be at risk.

  5. If Paul67 is very tentatively suggesting that the way might be opening for us to loin the English League, I, for one, would be delighted. No SFA, no “honest mistakes”, probably more attractive games, with less of the 10 men behind the ball dross we are up against so often.




    What Division would we be in to start with? European football for us would be kicked into the grass for many years I think.

  7. I don`t think Paul is suggesting possible membership of one the English League divisions for Celtic. I would be glad if it happened but I don`t see it.


    Anyway, golf returns tomorrow…..if I can get a time !

  8. “The Premier League season is set to restart on 17 June with Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal, the BBC has learned.


    The matches are the two games in hand.


    A full fixture list would then be played on the weekend of 19-21 June.


    Clubs are still discussing the idea at a meeting on Thursday, but it is understood all have agreed in principle at this stage.


    There are 92 fixtures still to play.”

  9. Ron


    I would swop European Football for honest refereeing and an Authority I could trust. Besides, a club the size of ours would , I believe, rise quite quickly into a position where European football was once again on the cards.




    Possibly the Championship. Imo, I don’t think it would be too long before we reached the Premier League. Again, imo, we would be playing regularly in a more competitive league and that would, I believe, improve the players.

  11. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    ‘Scotland v Celtic’.



    Has anyone told Amaruso it was always thus?

  12. Would take us a while to get into the EPL.It won’t happen,but if not immediate Premiership,should be kicked into touch.


    Anyway,I am quite happy to Hoover up all the trophies on offer,at least until we reach 55,and overtake their corrupt,stinking tally of trophies.What a day that would be.

  13. When was the last time we won the close season cup?



    Not good enough Celtic. We deserve better……

  14. Classic Simpsons .


    Scene: A Fairground Sideshow:



    ” ….and here we have an amazing creature. A horse with the head of a rabbit and the body of a rabbit ! “

  15. A leap frog jump into any tier of the English league will only add to the resentment waiting to be poured on a club with Irish nationalism at its core.



    Our only chance is to benefit from a general re-structure of clubs via a breakaway of the elite lubs, who would prefer to add the fan base of Celtic and, unfortunately, Sevco, to their portfoloio of clubs. Whether this happens at a English/British level or a CL elite group breakaway at European level, will determine the feasability.



    TV money and sponsors might want us for their portfolio but it is unlikely that they will need us to be a success.



    Our best bet is a general collapse which may well happen with a new deep recession just around the corner. If we are one of the few left standing, we have a chance but it will take a lot odf stars to align, and a lot of misery and poverty, to make it likely.

  16. Over 400 minutes and 24 posts? Where are all the clcikbaiters when you need them?



    Odsonne Edouard going to Marseilles? I thought he was happy with us?

  17. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    Have we signed big Fraser yet? He is thee most important part of the team we need to win the 10, in my opinion of course, everything else will fall in to place as long as we secure big Fraser, the team for the 10 must have this big guy between the sticks, absolutely imperative. Again, in my opinion, everybody else can be replaced, but the big goalie is again imo irreplaceable.



    I would swap Ncham for the big man in a heartbeat.

  18. 12 months on from going to my GP with back pain, Ireceived some very good news from my consultant toda. After chemotherapy then radiotherapy my PSA score is ‘extremely good’ at 0.13.From now on I just have to have a PSA score test and a hormone injection every six months. I know that I am not cured as such but my wife and I are celebrating with some fiz.

  19. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Donald Finlay telling everyone what they knew all along.



    What a circus.

  20. Ron


    Fantastic news – fizz? what’s up with Buckie



    Have a great evening.

  21. RON BACARDI at 7:07




    Now, that’s worth celebrating. Great news.

  22. As my long term hope remains for an independent Scotland how would I reconcile that with any suggestion that it would be good if we played in obe of the English leagues?

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