Celtic Fans And Others Should Be Outraged At The Latest Broadcasting Scandal.

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The news, which broke the other day, about the revival of Premier Sports is not great for Celtic fans, or for other Scottish football supporters.

When I was in Italy this week, I saw that all Italian club’s Champions League games are on terrestrial TV … there was a time when we’d have been able to watch every Celtic game in that tournament the same way. Those days are over with. Scottish football coverage is now split across three different companies, all paid TV channels, and that hurts ordinary fans.

Terrestrial TV stations haven’t even fought for coverage, although the contracts for these games are pitifully low when it comes to us. Premier Sports have got Scotland games, and the two cup competitions. None of them are exactly raking in the audience figures, which is reflected in the value of the deals. If BBC Scotland could be bothered, they could compete for those deals, and they should because those games belong on free TV.

The more you look at the state of our game, the more you see that the fans are just treated like absolute rubbish. We are so disrespected by everyone, including our own clubs at times. Other clubs treat us like lepers, cutting our allocations even when they have thousands of empty seats. AGM’s, like the one at Celtic, are a stage managed insult.

Worse, most clubs have owners who could sell them at moment’s notice and the governors of the game want to make that easier, not harder. We badly need a regulator here.

And a regulator should have the power to dictate a certain percentage of games which the SPFL and the SFA cannot sell to companies which charge exorbitant rates. The regulator should protect international football and the national cup competition above all else.

Otherwise, it’s not going to be long before we need another package to watch our team in certain games, and then another after that and another after that. We’re already seeing the start of this with Sky allowing clubs to sell their own PPV packages for games they aren’t showing; some might like the sound of that, but it’s the start of a slipperier slope than we’re already on.

The way this deal has passed from one company to another is symptomatic of how bad this situation is. We should have had a break clause in this deal that enabled us to get out of it and re-negotiate in the event that those we signed it with couldn’t, or wouldn’t, fulfil it. Instead we’ve been passed from one shaky company to another and that’s a disgrace.

Fans are not being served by this system, but that doesn’t seem to bother those in charge of “governing”. We need a regulator far more than England ever did.

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  • Robert Jenkins says:

    The way fans are treated is despicable not just in Scotland but in England, too. The amount of money coming into the English game has given no benefit to the ordinary fan.


    not all the Italian clubs’ games are on terrestrial TV. Sky and Mediaset Infinity+ (a streaming service) have them all, except for the ones on Amazon Prime (one of the Wednesday games). Terrestrial TV picks one of the Tuesday matches (which is also being shown on Sky).
    Hope you enjoyed Rome

  • whiteseatbhoy says:

    Many years ago I was working in a man’s house. He was a big boxing fan. At the time his sport was taken off the BBC and doing shown on satellite TV. He ask me if I knew who was the heavy weight champ of Great Britain. I couldn’t answer. He said I bet you would have known if it was still on the BBC. At this rate we could lose young people to other sports. Look how popular woman football in England has got

  • Bottle Green says:

    The BBC are happy to sit back and do nothing until their beloved Sevco top the charts.
    Can’t have the BBC allowing Celtic to be seen to be the best over their queen and country trash.

  • Martin says:

    Standing ovation on this piece!

  • Fun time frankie says:

    James, as I’ve already stated on your blog get a fire stick £40 to £50 then get Kevin bridges ( he knows a guy ) to get all sports including PVP on said stick ,then you can tell everyone of these overcharging robbing bastards to ram it right up their ARSE.

  • Paul Mac says:

    Here in Portugal the majority of the Champions League matches are on privatised cable tv Eleven Sports/DAZN with one match (usually a Tuesday fixture) being shown on the 4th Terrestrial channel (TVI). As there is not a huge pub culture here most of the matches are shown in cafés (accompanied usually by a few “finos or imperiais – depending if in the North or South, which are 20cl cups of beer usually for a euro) Likewise the Europa League with one match available on the 3rd Terrestrial channel (SIC) with the rest shown on the main cable tv sports channel (Sport TV – who I work for as a freelance Camera Op).
    Sport TV has the monopoly of ALL the Portuguese league matches (First and Second division) with the exception of Benfica´s home matches which are broadcast on Benfica´s own channel (Benfica TV which is a private cable channel) and both Porto and Benfica´s B teams who play in the Portuguese second division (and have done since 2012 with Porto B actually winning the Second division albeit the promotion spot went to the team finishing third) whose matches are shown on Porto Canal (another where I freelance) and the afore mentioned Benfica TV. With this monopoly and as ALL first division matches use VAR they are ALL televised with the games spread out from Friday nights to Monday nights. Which obviously causes some unrest as the matches are shifted in line with the broadcast times .. when I first came here back in 2002, Sport TV did not have such a stranglehold on the fixtures with most being like the Italian Serie A and played at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon but with TV money comes TV demands and now its all mixed as I said earlier. There is yet another sports channel here which is the Federation owned Canal 11 but this concentrated more on the 3rd division and Portuguese Cup matches. As for the main terrestrial channel RTP – this basically has the rights to show the League Cup and the final matches of the Portuguese Cup (and any of the juicier ties involving the “Big 3” ) as well as the national team matches.

  • John Copeland says:

    BBC Scotland could not have bid for the broadcasting rights as most of its Budget is spent ! Spent on the plethora of ex the Rangers players and affiliates and the enormous payments paid to these ‘guest commentators ‘ by the national broadcaster with public money for its radio and TV sports shows . I say ‘sports’ in the loosest term possible of course ! I’d love to have a look at the yearly accounts of the Scottish Beeb ,just to see the amount of public dough paid out in wages ,expenses and overheads ? As an example Sportsound had a presenter , a commentator and 3 more co- commentators covering the midweek Limassol game at Ibrox land plus a huge production cast …for a radio programme! That’s 5 scoops ,on a programme with words only ! Sky and BT must be incredibly envious of the BBC in Scotland ,as it can’t compete with the enormous staffing levels ?

  • Mr Smith says:

    The BBC isn’t free TV, it’s publicly funded.

    You’re right though, they should be using football fans, who must contribute a lot of cash to their coffers, money to show the games. They get maybe £6m+from season ticket owning Celtic fans alone if my sums are right and much more from general football fans.

    As always, people living off the publics cash like to spend it on themselves and their vanity projects instead of the people they live off.

  • Donnybhoy says:

    “slipperier” … really?!

  • bernard cassidy says:

    We are 10 percent of population so we should get a tenth of what bbc have given to England

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