UPDATED: With the 2017/18 Scottish Premiership season scheduled to kick off on August 5, Scotland’s top-flight soccer league looks destined to miss out on television in the United States and only be available via streaming through paid subscriptions to each club website instead.
In previous years, a few of the Scottish Premiership games were available each week on FOX Soccer 2GO as well as being televised in the morning hours on FOX Soccer Plus. The broadcasts were supplemented by FS1 and FS2 televising the Old Firm Derby between Celtic and Rangers.
The Scottish Premiership TV and streaming rights in the United States were handled by the MP & Silva agency, who then sold the rights to FOX Sports. However, that contract expired at the end of last season, which leaves Scotland’s top-flight league without a broadcaster stateside for the new season.
World Soccer Talk understands that the TV rights are under negotiation for the upcoming season, so if soccer fans would like to see the Scottish Premiership return to US airwaves, we encourage you to let your voice be heard by contacting FOX Sports. Let [email protected] at FOX Sports know that you’d like to see the Scottish Premiership return to the FOX Sports airwaves.
The main reason why TV broadcasters in the United States are reluctant is because the majority of clubs in the league have now set up streaming packages on their websites to cater to supporters outside the UK and Ireland. For example, Rangers TV is charging $299 for access to every match during the season in addition to exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes programming. Celtic TV, as a comparison, is charging $196 for their similar service.
Not every club in the Scottish Premiership is offering a streaming subscription, but as of press time, many of the other top clubs in Scotland had the streaming service in place such as Aberdeen, Hibernian and Hearts.
While the cost of subscribing to your club’s streaming package is more expensive, it will provide soccer fans with more coverage of specific Scottish Premiership clubs than ever before similar to what iFollow promises to supporters of Football League clubs.
It’s possible that a TV broadcaster in the United States could still acquire the rights to the Scottish Premiership at the last minute before the season begins, but with almost every match being made available directly via the clubs, the league is no longer as attractive of a proposition.
The most-recent Old Firm Derby in the Scottish Premiership had a viewing audience of 73,000 for the March 12 match, which was televised live on FS1.
World Soccer Talk reached out to the Scottish Premiership for comment, but they did not respond.