Once again the fear of losing out on a poor TV deal has raised it’s head as a reason for allowing A Newco Rangers into the SPL. We have heard this being raised over the past few months and it’s about to be ramped right up by the media until the SPL vote on whether or not a newco will be allowed into the SPL.
Currently the SPL have a deal worth £80m which runs till season 2016/17. It is a joint deal between ESPN who mainly get the ‘smaller’ games ans Sky who always get the Glasgow Derby. From a Celtic point of view it only accounts for 2% of our annual turnover. I can’t give figures for the rest of the SPL because I don’t have them however this is how it works:
All revenues generated by the SPL are effectively put into one pot. A support payment to the SFL and parachute payments to recently relegated clubs are then deducted from that pot. All associated costs of running the SPL are also deducted.The remaining amount is split two ways to the member clubs: 48% is divided equally between all 12 clubs while 52% is distributed to teams dependent upon their final league position. The higher up the table that a club finishes, the more money they will receive.
So this probably ranges from Celtic receiving around £2.5m which then degrades as you go further down the final league table plus a parachute payment for the club dropping down to the SFL.
So what do us fans get for this money ? Dates and times of matches constantly changes throughout the season sometimes with the minimum of warning. This is a big problem from fans who travel from outside Scotland to attend games as it leads to problems with travel and accommodation bookings having to be changed. A perfect example is last seasons game between Celtic and St Johnstone which was moved from a 3.00pm saturday kick off on March 31st to a Sunday 1st of April with a 12.45 kick off time with only 2 weeks notice. I personally know and was with Celtic fans at that game who had to change flight’s and accommodation at their own expense. So no consideration is given to the fans.
What do we get as a product ? In my opinion and I’m sure many will agree apart from the Glasgow Derby we get a poor presentation in terms of the number of camera angles, commentary and post match analysis. Also the TV companies involved do not put enough effort into promoting the live games and the game in Scotland in general. We have commentators and pundits who constantly run the game in Scotland and the SPL down as if it is some sort of thing that they have to attend rather than wanting to attend.
Now compare this to our neighbours down south. The EPL have just signed a £3.018bn for the same period of time. The matches beamed live from the EPL in terms of viewer quality is top notch. More cameras at every game regardless of how many games they broad cast over a week end, A fantastic advertising campaign with commentators and pundits alike promoting the game and the league in general in a very positive manner even when the games are poor.
At this point I’d like to echo an issue one of our contributors (Mrhappy) raised that any suggestion that there must be 4 Glasgow derbies guaranteed every season or the deal is off. Which is tantamount to a form of match fixing. Unless matches are rigged there is no guarantee that a newco Rangers would make the top six when the league split therefore there would only be three Glasgow Derbies that season.
I have pointed out before that we live in a new media age which the SPL should be embracing. There is a good chance that the SPL could set up it’s own pay per view deal for both live TV and internet broadcasts. They could also sell packages to overseas media broadcasting companies. This would cost money to set up and may take a time to cover the cost of the investmet but I’m sure it would be a success and help maximise coverage of the SPL on a global basis.
So for these reasons we should not be held to ransom by SKY,ESPN or any RFC Newco wanting to jump the queue straight back into the SPL.
Personally I believe we now have an excellent opportunity to reshape not only our game but how we package,promote and sell it in a global market place. Or maybe I’m just another internet bampot talking 99% crap.