It’s been a few weeks since we learned that the Celtic game in the coming weekend would not be shown on any television station. Sky has taken the decision to show the game between Hibs and Hearts; I understand it, but it sticks in the craw just the same.
There are less than 1800 of our fans going to that game. Our support, as a whole, is not going to see it. Sky’s stupid decision is not only a joke and an insult to our fans but it’s self-defeating nonsense as well. You would think that technology didn’t exist.
There are streaming platforms. Sky has done business with them, and made joint bids with them. They could have let the clubs market this game to the fans, for a cut.
They could have given games they didn’t want to Prime or some other organisation … they are greedy and arrogant and would rather fans suffer just to hold onto monopoly control over a TV contract they don’t even rate that highly.
That’s what makes this worse; knowing that Sky doesn’t even care about its Scottish audience. They could have let this one go to the highest outside bidder. They could have given it away to Prime as something they didn’t want … instead they’ve closed it down to everyone else like a kid hoarding a ball he’s never going to play with anyway.
Not only is it just wrong, but it’s plain daft. This is a sellable product, a bankable asset, and nobody is allowed to make something out of it? That’s just pointless. Sky could have done a deal with the streaming firms, made it another pay-per-view and made money off that and the adverts … for doing virtually nothing. And they’ve chosen not to.
Sky has a stranglehold on this contract for the next few years. When it comes up for renegotiation there has to be some thought given to a game-by-game service for those fans who are willing to pay for one, and if someone other than Sky offers it then Sky should be shut down and shut out. Because Scottish football fans have surely had enough of this.
Celtic fans, who were treated like crap by them last year, certainly have.