Scottish Premiership clubs open up to PPV

Clubs in the Scottish Premiership will be able to sell coverage of home and away matches on a pay-per-view basis during the 2020-21 season, which gets underway at the weekend.

Matches will be played without fans due to the Covid-19 pandemic and clubs have been permitted to offer pay-per-view coverage of matches that are not already being covered by pay-television broadcaster Sky Sports.

So far, nine of the 12 Premiership clubs have detailed plans to sell individual matches. Aberdeen, whose first two matches will be shown on Sky, said it would review how the system works during its home match against Hamilton Academical on August 12 before making an announcement on further details.

Celtic and Rangers have not confirmed whether they will sell single matches, while Hibernian has opted not to open Saturday’s game against Kilmarnock on a pay-per-view basis.

Hibernian’s subsequent home matches against Motherwell and Aberdeen will be on Sky, with the club stating that there is “every chance” the same will apply to the following home match against Rangers. The Edinburgh club said it would offer pay-per-view coverage following the Rangers match.

Livingston will offer pay-per-view matches for £20 (€22/$26), while St Johnstone matches will be priced at £17.50. Dundee United, Kilmarnock and St Mirren matches will be available for £12.50, with Motherwell fixtures priced at £12. Hamilton, Hibernian and Ross County have not yet confirmed prices.

Sky has a five-year deal with the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). Last month, the two parties reached an agreement over compensation for the truncated 2019-20 season, with Sky also giving its backing for clubs to live-stream home matches when the 2020-21 campaign begins.

The settlement reached was widely reported to entail £1.5m being paid back to the broadcaster over five years. Sky’s new five-year contract from 2020-21 to 2024-25 is worth around £26m per season and includes live rights to 48 matches per season.

Pay-television rival BT Sport held live SPFL rights from 2017-18 to 2019-20 but was comfortably defeated by Sky during the rights auction held in late 2018.