SPFL Chef executive Neil Doncaster was in Beijing today to seal a multi-million pound TV deal with Chinese broadcaster PPLive TV. But is the move a step in the right direction? And what does it means for te Scottish Premiership’s currently non-existent global reputation?
To put the firm into context, they have over 60 million annual subscribers, 15 times the amount that Sky Sports currently have. The firm has a European football station on it’s site, which showcases some of the biggest games from England and Spain. The deal is part of an expansion deal with media rights firm MP & Silva, which will last 10 years and is worth around £20m. The deal will see each Premiership club net around £2m, which will be invaluable to the clubs currently struggling to stay afloat in the economic climate.
The deal will see 58 games from the Scottish premiership being shown on the online channel, and provides a platform that the SPFL have never had to build on and expand their commercial horizons.
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell was also in attendance in Beijing, adding: “the English premier league experience shows that giving overseas audiences the chance to watch games week-in, week-out is the key to building an international fan base.
“Celtic FC has already played a leading role in promoting the Scottish game to global audiences mainly through our participation and successes in the UEFA Champions League, and we see China as a country with massive potential.
“This deal shows the ambition of the SPFL and it’s clubs to continue to expand the Scottish game into new worldwide territories.”
Indeed, there is a massive opportunity for SPFL to expand, and they appear to have grabbed it with both hands, rather than their previous laughable approach of taking the scraps left by the English Premiership in both ESPN and BT Sport. Whether the clubs will benefit massively from the deal remains to be seen, but there can be no doubt that this is welcome news of security in times of uncertainty for the Scottish game.