Date: 16th March 2017 at 5:28pm
Written by:

The Jungle Drums are beating in the media today about the possibility of BT Sports gaining the rights to all SPFL games from 2020.

I know it’s three years away but if it’s signed, sealed and delivered it will be great news for Scottish football fans. They’re talking figures of over £31m per annum which would eclipse the previous Setanta deal.

Our game desperately needs a cash injection now, more than ever before.

Sky Sports has effectively dropped the ball with BT upping the ante and actually promoting our game.

On the other hand, Sky pundit Andy Walker continually bemoans the SPFL.

Examination of a poll on a national newspaper’s website shows that 77% of viewers would like to see this happen.

As fans and viewers, it’s apparent as to why there’s such a big swing. Sky pays Scottish football a pittance in comparison with what they pay in comparison to the “Greatest League in the World, but as we know from previous research, per capita, Scottish football fans attend more games and watch more games on TV than our English counterparts.

BT Sport, in all fairness, produce great TV. They’ve got fantastic in-depth analysis of each game they cover and the debates between pundits is now legendary.

Love him or loathe him, Chris Sutton is the best pundit on the box at the moment.

He pulls no punches. He’s often sparring with Motherwell stalwart Stephen Craigan and former Hearts and Hibs player Michael Stewart. Without saying a word at times, Sutton’s facial expressions tell their own story and no-one mistakes it. It makes for fantastic telly.

Darryl Currie as ringmaster is the perfect host prodding Sutton, Stewart and Craigan into debate. Big Terry Butcher is like the affable uncle who’s there to clip Sutton’s wings at times but their co-commentary is like Morecambe and Wise.

BT has nailed it with who they’ve brought in.

At the start, it was bit ropey, but Derek Rae, to me, is probably one of the most knowledgeable and impartial commentators in the industry.

Turn over to Sky Sports Scotland and it always seems like the analysis is nothing more than a token gesture despite viewers paying £25.00 a month for the privilege.

I’m always under the impression that Kabaddi is higher up the agenda for the executives at Sky rather than the SPFL.

Is it there purely for subscriptions from Scotland? David Tanner is like the wee guy down the street who’s doing Computing Studies at Uni but has a small interest in football.

McCann is another story.

He says and does things to be controversial but the Scottish punters are wise to his games. If he sticks to the game in hand, he’s not a bad pundit.

Just don’t bring Brendan Rodgers into the studio post-match.

McCann looked ill at ease and was devoid of any pertinent questions. It was a red-neck.

Then there’s Andy Walker, a so-called commentator who earned his corn in Scotland, who appears to be there only to belittles it. Any club who fails is Europe is an embarrassment but when an English side suffers an early exit from Europa its “they’ll be concentrating on qualification for next year’s Champions League.”

Sky also patronise the life out of their Scottish subscribers. There’s a sprinkling of bagpipes and a quarter gill of a pub scene in their titles whereas we’ve yet to witness any Morris Dancing in the EPL titles. The only reason I watch Sky is to catch Celtic away games which includes two at Ibrox.

BT showed their hand to the public when it screened the cup semi-final between Celtic and Sevco in the BetFred Cup and they want the jewel in the crown.

In partnership with the league, BT are keen to promote our game, and they seem to want to exceed what Setanta did back in 2008. BT is less likely to leave the UK (the clue is in the name) and you could bet your mortgage that they won’t go bust either. We need their continual talking up of our game and if BT have blanket coverage of Scottish football, then perhaps our kids will want to buy SPFL tops and have their favourite players on the back.

If BT does get the gig, I’d happily pay a bit extra considering that the £25 I currently pay Sky will disappear.

If I desperately want to watch the EPL, I’ll find a way.

This news certainly heralds Interesting times ahead for Scottish Football.

The Sky is not the limit for BT, but they don’t run us down either.