Sky Sports scores exclusive partnership with SPFL

28 November 2018   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Deal will see up to 48 live Ladbrokes Premiership matches broadcast on Sky Sports Football from 2020.

The contract includes Premiership/Championship play-off matches, highlights from all games and mobile clips.

However, the number of matches available for Sky customers is lower than the combined 60 that were available on Sky Sports and BT Sport under the previous deal.

BT Sport will play no part in covering the SPFL from 2020 onwards, despite championing the Ladbrokes Premiership intensively in recent years.

sky sports presenters
© Sky

Five-year deal delivers SPFL dominance for Sky

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Sky Sports customers will be able to watch SPFL matches every weekend of the season on the Sky Sports Football channel, which comes as part of the Complete Sports Pack or can be purchased as a standalone upgrade to Sky TV.

SPFL fans will also have access to highlights of every Premiership game and will receive in game clips straight to their mobile devices.

The Ladbrokes Premiership will retain its place on the Sky Sports Football channel alongside 138 English Football League matches. Premier League matches are broadcast on their own dedicated Sky channel.

Scottish Cup football is not included in the new Sky deal. Instead, fans wishing to watch cup football will need to subscribe to the Premier Sports channel who are sharing broadcast rights with BBC Scotland until 2024.

While the deal is reported to be worth £160m to clubs over the five-year period, this figure is dwarfed by the £595m set to be received by English Football League clubs over the same timeframe.

No room for BT at the SPFL table

BT Sport customers will no longer have access to any Scottish football after putting in a bid for the Ladbrokes Premiership described by one source as "woeful and derisory".

However, the broadcaster has recently won the rights to show an additional 20 Premier League matches from 2019/20, bringing the total of EPL live games to 52.

BT's focus is now on English and European football, with current rights to matches within the Premier League, FA Cup, FA Women's Super League and various lower league one-off events.

On a European level, BT hold the rights to UEFA club competitions including the Champions League and Europa League until 2021.

They also show various matches from the German Bundesliga, Italy's Ligue 1 and the Australian A-League.

In contrast, Sky shows fewer matches from other domestic leagues. They currently only show US Major League Soccer and selected single matches from other competitions.

You can see a recent analysis of the different matches available on BT Sport and Sky in our guide.

Sky extending their dominance over sports coverage


Sky report that viewing figures for the Ladbrokes Premiership games they show have soared 87% in the last year amid fresh interest in Scottish domestic football.

This includes more than 520,000 fans tuning in to see the SPFL clash between Celtic and Rangers in September.

As well as securing this new deal, Sky Sports have established themselves as the home of Formula One from next season and the only broadcaster of England home cricket and the domestic T20.

New contracts such as these help to mitigate the impact of Sky's 2018 price rises for sports fans, alongside new partnerships with the likes of Netflix in their Ultimate on Demand package available from this month.

Earlier this year, Sky were highlighted as the provider least complained about by customers in a quarterly report published by Ofcom.

They scored the lowest complaints per 100,000 customers for pay-TV, landline services and home broadband services.

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