Last night, I watched the final BT Sports Scottish Football Show of the year. Sutton and McCoist slagged each other stupid, as per usual, and even the ex –Ibrox boss made me laugh a few times, especially when he picked Calvin Bassey as his number two player of the year, proving that the Ibrox PR machine is going all hands on deck to sell this guy.
What that show brought home to me, though, is how much BT understands the Scottish football fan and how much respect they have for the game here. They aren’t entitled to show a single match, but they still produce the best weekly show on our game.
What does that tell you about the grinding contempt Sky has for us? That they still choose to put that talking monkey Kris Boyd on the telly is revealing enough. But their utter disdain for the game here is obvious from every broadcast whether he’s on it or not.
We’ll never know what the gap was between what they offered for the rights and what BT did. But was it worth this second class treatment?
We have prostituted ourselves to a broadcaster who treats the game with contempt, and they have years of their contract still to run. Their sole focus is on English football; they don’t even show most of the European leagues which they used to.
They seem interested only in the promotion of the hated Old Firm brand; the rest of the game here is an afterthought, and they no longer even try to hide it.
I would not imagine that Celtic are terribly pleased with the way we’ve been covered. How many of our away games were shown?
They had the ability to show all of them, but they left our fans dependent on pay-per-view deals for crucial games whilst showing almost every game the Ibrox club played away from home. But their selection criteria was bizarre and contradictory overall. Although we were particularly ill-served, they sold the whole game short.
You only have to see the BBC’s “How The League Was Won” show to see how contemptible Sky’s coverage is; almost all of us had a problem with the national broadcaster’s pathetic effort, as focussed as it was on finding crumbs of comfort for Ibrox.
But they stepped into a gaping void which Sky – which owns all the best of the footage – clearly had no interest in filling. The BBC at least cared enough to try. BT Sport show the game the appropriate level of respect … and it all makes Sky look worse.
When this current contract ends, we should be at the forefront of pushing for a rejection of anything Sky offers in future, unless it comes with a commitment to our game which is markedly different than the one they give us right now.