Scottish commercial broadcaster STV has added FreeSports, the free-to-air sister channel of Premier Sports, to its OTT platform, allowing it show live games from the top-tier football leagues in Italy, Portugal and USA.
FreeSports joins STV Player as the Scottish commercial network becomes the exclusive advertising sales agent for Premier Sports’ subscription services in an agreement similar to that signed last year between STV and Eleven Sports.
Along with a combined total of up to 10 games from Serie A, the Primeira Liga and MLS, the FreeSports content will also include boxing, cycling, ice hockey, motorsports, pool, rugby union and wrestling.
Peter Reilly, STV’s commercial director, said: “STV is Scotland’s pre-eminent advertising platform and we look forward to bringing our expertise and proven track record of working with advertisers to drive growth for Premier Sports across their digital and broadcast platforms.”
STV is ITV’s licensee in Scotland and its previous live sports output has included a simulcast of matches from both the Fifa World Cup and Uefa European Championships. In the past it has also broadcast ITV’s games from the Uefa Champions League but the exclusive live UK rights are now held by BT Sport.
STV struck an agreement 10 months ago to stream two of Eleven Sports’ live LaLiga and Serie A matches every weekend. That deal also included the appointment of STV as Eleven’s exclusive digital sales agent in the UK. However, Eleven elected to sell back its Serie A rights and Premier Sports took them on as the Aser Media-owned broadcaster prepared to retreat from the UK market.
Premier Sports has amassed a stronger rights portfolio over the past 18 months, in part benefiting from BT Sport’s dwindling interest in sports rights.
Properties of particular local Scottish interest include rugby union’s Pro14, to which it holds the rights from 2018-19 to 2020-21, plus the Scottish Cup (from 2018-19 to 2023-24). The Scottish League Cup will join Premier Sports’ programming schedules next season as it succeeds BT as the rights-holder.