Celtic Cannot Remain Silent On This Scandalous Sky Sports TV Deal Proposal.

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There are people amongst our support who cannot understand why the rest of us care about reforming the game and gutting out the governing body.

They cannot understand why the rest of us think that our club is leaderless in some of the areas which actually matter. They cannot understand why we constantly call for new blood and fresh thinking.

Those things are more necessary than ever when you look at the appalling deal Sky is putting on the table for Scottish clubs to sign. In an ever evolving TV market, the idea that this is the best offer we’re ever going to get seems plainly ridiculous.

I never like to criticise other Celtic sites, and in general I don’t.

But I am fully entitled to disagree with them, and on many occasions I do.

Celtic Quick News has been seen, for years, as a pro-board site with “inside” connections. God help us all if their editorial today reflects the thinking within Parkhead, because it would echo every fear we have about our custodians.

That article defends the deal as the only one on the table.

But of course it’s the only one on the table, because Sky has a deal right now which has a couple of years still to run. We don’t know who else might be at the table by the time that deal winds down.

We don’t know what the landscape will look like.

There are more platforms and options out there than there have ever been.

English football benefits massively from the way it plays rival platforms off against each other, to the extent that there is no exclusivity agreement when it comes to their games; they are shared around various different firms.

And that maximises their value as a whole.

We made a tremendous mistake going for a “one size fits all” agreement when we signed the current Sky deal, cutting out BT Sport and basically giving Sky total control of the contract. This will be a bigger mistake by far.

Scottish football should have left Sky behind prior to 2011 … you know, of course, what happened that year, and what tied us ever more to their coat-tails.

CQN’s editorial claims that Scottish football’s TV deal is built around two teams and that without them there would barely be a contract at all. I have serious difficulty believing that, and I would only say that at least the game here has those two teams.

How does Norway get a better TV deal than Scotland without two massive clubs?

How does Belgium, whose champions were blown out at Ibrox so comfortably?

If you were doing a league table of the deals which European leagues have with their broadcasting partners Scottish football would come near the bottom. Yet as a percentage of population more people watch our sport than just about anywhere on the continent.

We are being pissed on by Sky, and only our tolerance for that keeps us in this position.

I’m a football fan as well as a Celtic fan, and it’s important to understand that because if the product is exciting I don’t necessarily have to know anything about the teams I’m watching.

I like a bet as well, as most regular readers will be aware, and I like the MLS in particular because their games have a high proportion of goals … it was a super thrill last week to watch two exceptional fixtures … the first a 4-4 draw between Inter Miami and Cincinnati at the weekend and then an amazing New York Red Bulls 4 Colorado 5 game last Wednesday night.

I will watch football from anywhere if it’s exciting and the two teams are going at it.

The idea that no-one outside Scotland cares about the game here except for two teams is parochial garbage; it is arrogant nonsense which views the whole sport in Scotland through the distorted “Old Firm” sphere, and it’s the kind of thinking which has held it back for decades.

If people outside Scotland won’t watch games which don’t involve those two clubs, then that is not a weakness of our football but the dire way in which our football is marketed and promoted. If you promote the game through the prism of two clubs, then of course the rest of the world isn’t going to think that there’s anything else worth watching in it.

And Sky will never market the game in any other way. Never.

Their contempt for Scottish football is nearly total.

That they don’t even take up their available quota of games tells you that they don’t even have the first clue where to start, and no interest whatsoever in finding out.

I know that football fans just want to watch football … many of us would watch any game that is on. If you’re selling football in the UK you’re marketing water in the desert.

You have to be really, really, really bad not to do it well.

Pissing in the container probably doesn’t help, and when Neil Doncaster and Stewart Regan made their disgraceful comments in 2011, which reduced our whole game to a two-club showdown without which it was worthless, that should have been the end of them both. That Doncaster has climbed even further up the greasy pole is desperate stuff.

Celtic cannot stay silent on this garbage.

If they support it they should come forward and tell us all why.

Let us see, clearly, Old Firm Inc. at work.

Let them defend the view that this whole game revolves around us and the club across the city … prove that what those of us who’ve been saying that our directors lack vision and imagination have it right.

If they oppose it, then it’s even more imperative that they say so.

Get out front of this, scorn the whole idea of doing a deal which locks us into Sky for more years when we don’t know what the changing landscape will throw up in the next couple of years.

There is a reason Sky wants to extend this deal now, a reason this pay-per-view conglomerate is actually throwing money at us, albeit scraps.

They know that two years from now someone might put a better offer on the table, and before that becomes evident they want this deal done, like some telephone scammer trying to get you to transfer your money before you’ve had a chance to think through what you are being told. I cannot believe that this is not obvious to the clubs.

If opposition exists, and we’re part of it, then its our duty to come forward and spell that out in a public forum and rally the campaign behind it. Our silence feeds into the perception that we either don’t have a clear view or that this clear view would offend fans so much that they dare not put it out there.

But we are entitled to know.

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  • JimBhoy says:

    It’s simple economics. The men at the top of the heap in Scottish football have a contract giving them £200k every new contract they get for league exposure, including renewals.

    Not really a tough negotiation if that’s the incentive.

  • Tom Foolery says:

    I can’t remember the details but did we not try and get a better deal from sky a few years back and they told us to fcuk off and we then ended up with setanta giving us less than sky originally offered?

  • Benjamin says:

    I’m glad you mentioned MLS James as what they’ve recently done with their broadcast rights is the model the SPFL should be looking at. In short, they decoupled their traditional broadcast rights from the digital rights. Then they sold the digital rights to Apple (starting next year) on a non-exclusive basis. EVERY game will go on Apple with NO BLACKOUTS and will be available worldwide. The league is in charge of producing the broadcasts which can continue to be sold on a non-exclusive basis to traditional outlets over cable & satellite.

    I’ll have more thoughts later, but the SPFL is living in the 1980’s-90’s with their approach and every club is harmed by it.

  • Geoff says:

    Backwater league
    Not too much interest in a two horse race
    Well 10-1 in recent times
    Why do they want SPL to commit till 2029
    Because Premiership is up for renewal soon and the figures will be astronomical

  • Martin H. says:

    The deal is shite, if the club on the other side of the city, can walk away from the cinch deal, we can walk away from this crap, and play our home games, at, 3.00pm on a Saturday.

  • Martin says:

    The need to remove ourselves from exclusivity deals has never been clearer. We should be in charge of our own broadcasts, with whoever wants to show it “buying in” to individual games. And we should be determining when those games are.

    Sky has no interest in Scottish football (look who they employ for it) and never will. Get out ASAP. No new deals.

  • Peterbrady says:

    What Scottish football needs is no poisonous entity masquerading as as sport s club it is not it exists for lowlife vermin neantadral to spew there racist agenda

  • John S says:

    Remember, such an offer is divided between all the clubs. Celtic would be far better off marketing independently, even on a game by game basis. In effect, the offer is risible and represents a cut in income. Add to this Sky’s actual product – amateur, inane, bias. Why would anyone want a deal two years early ?

  • SSMPM says:

    Said it before, we don’t need sly tv so tell them to rack off and our own plan in play.
    We can’t agree to a channel as disrespectful to our club as sly tv. This is an attempt at monopolising our club as part of a package, disregarding all other tv companies including Celtic TV and Celtic fans views of that company. Same goes for the other hun tv company, the totally independent BBC.
    To be frank they only need Celtic because of what we’ve done. The size of our club, the European heritage, and a fan base 2nd to none need no longer be held hostage to a rotten product. All of our club’s achievements and world support is pre sly tv, nothing to do with them. We’re only mentioned as the secondary team but they know that we’ll give their favourite unionist team and their English fans a game worth watching. We don’t need them, never have done.
    Celtic FC need to be on our own side. We need to get on with our own TV annual subscription (preferable to more expensive PPV) that can be out sourced to tv, digital, etc, if they pay the rates we choose. Let the SFA know this is how we will operate going forward so can’t agree to any new deal, Sound familiar that precedent. Simply said, we have a world stage to attend to and can’t or won’t be held hostage to hun institutions anymore.

  • Edward Mc Graw says:

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding the details here but,if the deal goes ahead, would this allow sky to block games being shown live on Celtic tv?, I live in San Francisco and we watch every game live( at some of the most horrendous times I might add), losing that link to Celtic would be crushing blow if it were to happen.

  • SSMPM says:

    Overseas Celtic TV would still be able, I believe, to show the games abroad live as is the case at the moment (mibbies not a forever thing if sly tv can do anything about it). Celtic tv isn’t allowed live in Scotland (unless on PPV which is a rare thing) and a source of real discontent so forced to watch sly tv if you want to watch live or like many Celtic fans not at all because we have in droves de-subscribed from sly tv.

  • SSMPM says:

    Friendlies, and cup games are on other channels. Rip off. Take control Celtic

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