According to Scottish Marketing & PR Publication, The Drum, Sky TV’s programming ethos may well become more selective about what sports broadcast rights it buys.
It’s an unsurprising move as it is looking to push forward with more “entertainment” which in all honesty Sky is bloody good at, and which Scottish football often isn’t. In spite of all the hype that surrounds Sevco matches, in particular, you can see why they might not fancy showing many more of them.
Perhaps I’m the only person who hasn’t watched Game of Thrones but Sky Atlantic seems to have captured the viewers. I’ve been hooked on Westworld and The Young Pope. These productions aren’t cheap but neither is football.
Speaking at a Conference in Barcelona, the chief executive of Sky, Jeremy Darroch, said:
“Sport is very important, obviously football is very important, but relatively, every day it is less important than it was and that allows us to make more choices about how much we spend, where we invest and where we choose not to.”
Could this be the beginning of the end for football?
Whilst Sky pay Scottish football a pittance and shower the rich cousins of the EPL with pots of gold, I’d imagine if Sky pull the plug in Scotland many a Chairman will run for the hills. SPFL are heavily reliant on this income, which of course is linked to advertisements within stadiums.
With the exception of Celtic, other clubs will be in disarray if the deal ends.
This is on the back of a decline in audience figures for Sky’s jewel in the crown which is of course the Premiership in England. No wonder when you see the poor quality of a lot of the games. This doesn’t help us though. We’re basically suckling the udder of their big fat cash cow and it’s going to run dry.
Technology is moving on a great pace and with high speed internet available to most end users now; the consumer is failing to see the benefits of paid monthly subscriptions.
If you take Sky Sports and BT Sports this can cost up to £52.50 (BT Customers get BT Sports for £5 a month). With Android Boxes costing as little as £25 fully loaded – which includes sports and movies – why would people pay more?
There’s also resentment from a lot of people due to the fact that Scottish football is on a downward spiral because it can’t compete financially. Some see owning one of the boxes as an act of rebellion, and one that might actually help their teams in the long term.
On top of that, the marketing of the EPL is getting tiresome too. Take the recent Chelsea v Man Utd game. We were bombarded with programmes, adverts and the like for what seemed an eternity and when it was done all we were left with was the knowledge of what a big let-down the game was as a spectacle it was truly awful. As much as you try to spray a recently baked dog turd with Mr Sheen, it’s always going to be no more than a crap.
I buy Sky for Sky Sports and Kids.
I buy it to watch Scottish Football and watch the occasional English Premiership game and perhaps El Classico. Would I sit and watch Hull v West Brom? Nope.
But sometimes I get mightily pissed off with the way they treat Scottish football. We’re a joke to them. The money in that league has made teams you never gave a thought to think they are on a par with genuine global clubs like ours. But you can wait for 45 minutes watching Sky Sports News before you get even a two minute rundown on the SPFL.
I think Sky misunderstand their Scottish market or kow-tow to the EPL.
Notably more people subscribe to Sky Sports per head in Scotland that anywhere else in the UK. Simply, we like our football more but we don’t like the overhyped version of it they constantly try to ram down our throats.
Whilst we may rub our hands in glee up here in Scotland, looking for the Premiership to crash and burn, it could spell the end for clubs in the SPFL itself. The bottom line is, we need that coin unless something like FansTV has a chance … and I’m not convinced.
It’s cutting of our nose to spite our faces.
But with times, buying patterns and technology moving on it may well be that Sky do the same.
And that will be disastrous for our game.