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Leagues: Scottish Premiership

Scottish Premiership games will be available only via club websites

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.

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.

SEE MORE: Schedule of Scottish Premiership matches on US streaming

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.

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. eddie b

    August 11, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I saw the same ad yesterday. I can’t find a way to contact Fox Soccer Plus. Deceptive bastards

  2. CTCelt

    August 5, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Just seen an ad on Fox Soccer Plus 10mins ago. No specifics, just the 2017/18 SPFL season on FSP all season long. Same ad as I was seeing last year, but definitely mentioned 2017/18. Has something been agreed now?

  3. Mike

    August 4, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    I just switched cable companies to be able to subscribe to fox soccer plus!!! Had been watching rangers TV but sick of all the buffering and it’s not my internet speed (100Mbs). Will try and get sky reload. Anyone used it before?

  4. thesnowman21

    August 4, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Im a kilmarnock fan and absolutely gutted that there will be no SPFL on Fox Sports this season. Guess I will end up watching a dodgy internet stream. Its a shame as this season is shaping up to be excellent.

  5. JN

    August 4, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Given that BeIn lost the ECL rights in the US, would be nice to see them get the rights for some games this season.

    At this point, what is done is probably done for the season. Maybe someone will pick it up next season.

  6. El Rolando

    August 3, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Well I certainly feel like a fool, having ordered Fox Soccer Plus only today, just assuming that the Scottish Prem would be broadcast as always.

  7. Amir

    August 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Sportsnet World in Canada will have SPFL just like previous years but their online website is not working anymore so we get what ever is shown on TV. Also, Sportsnet world PLUS channels might carry some games live if there is no Premier league or Bundesliga conflict.

    Aug 5: Celtic Live @ 7:30 (SN World)
    Aug 6: Rangers Delay @ 12:30 (SN World and SN 1 @ 4:00 pm)

    Aug 11: Celtic Live @ 2:45 (SN World)

  8. Tam Law

    July 29, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Fox soccer plus is already running ads for this season’s spfl, add was on again today. 7/29/17.Die hard Tim. H.H.

    • Christopher Harris

      July 29, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      It looks like it’s an old in-house ad. It makes no mention of the 2017/18 season, and it seems to be just filler that they’re using when there’s no advertiser available.

      Plus, I’ve heard from two different sources that the contract with FOX ended at the end of last season, and that unless the two parties can negotiate a deal, then the Scottish Premiership won’t be on US TV.

      • Alzie

        April 9, 2018 at 3:28 pm

        Here as all you need to know. The future of the spl lays in all clubs committing to a tv deal with even revenue for all. This will create a better deal for potential buyers and a more even and co operative league. Celtic & Rangers have never embraced this path forward as it would reduce short term income for the strengthening and benefit of other clubs thus creating a withering effect of scottish football. While the top two clubs still have a strong following abroad now, what about future generations? I have been a Celtic supporter for 35 years and in USA now. My kids watch all EPL and Spanish leagues, avoiding the “tablet only” viewing option of watching the top heavy and spiraling SPL. If your more of a visual person just watch braveheart, you’ll get the idea.

  9. Eddie D

    July 28, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Article updated, I see. Good. The initial piece was purely hearsay

    • zqsv@gmail.com

      July 28, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      Hearsay on this site? No way!

    • Alo Futbol

      July 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      You mean Hear-Tse.

  10. Eddie D.

    July 28, 2017 at 9:14 am

    For Celtic and Rangers fans. Instead of streaming illegally, why not purchase a subscription to Celtic or Rangers TV? Or do folk just expect something for nothing these days?

    In the event that MP & Silva and Fox cannot reach an agreement, then answer is simple enough. Drop Fox Soccer Plus, which is dreadful, and use the cash to subscribe to club channels.

    As for illegal streams – good luck with that. Celtic and Rangers have clamped down on it, and if you are lucky enough to find one, be prepared for 90 minutes of buffering.

  11. Eddie D.

    July 28, 2017 at 9:07 am

    This article is speculative, to say the least. MP and Silva (who have the rights to negotiate SPFL deals worldwide) are still in negotiations with Fox. Expect a deal soon, as we were in a similar situation in 2015, when the deal went down to the wire.

    Is there any evidence that clubs would prefer to broadcast solely through their own channels? 99% of hardcore fans in the US and Canada already use club channels.

    I have access to my club’s channel, but I enjoy watching any and all Scottish games. Teams like Hamilton, St. Johnstone do not have their own channel, so they would miss out on revenue from a North American TV deal. I have no interest to see the gap between Scottish teams widen even further due to a decrease in revenue for smaller clubs. I’m hoping this is resolved quickly

  12. Tim

    July 28, 2017 at 8:38 am

    FWIW the SPL is still listed on the Fox Soccer 2 Go site.

    • Christopher Harris

      July 28, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Where? Can you share a link to where you see it listed?

    • RedCard

      July 29, 2017 at 11:58 am

      It shows in the old app because the app is no longer updated. It’s not in Match Pass.

  13. Cantona

    July 27, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Scottish football in the USA has been good the last 3 years.. no need for Celtic and Rangers supporters clubs to do illegal stream matches. Now . when available they were using domestic USA feeds. Now they are back to square one, talking to a Celtic Pub in San Antonio.. they will go back to the illegal streaming of Sky and BT sport for matches… great morning revenue for them they do t want to lose. I hear the same from pubs in Austin… a silent revenue stream leaving.

    Cantona—

    • Mccort912

      July 28, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      What’s the Celtic pub in San Antonio?

  14. Oliver Tse

    July 27, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    The worst thing that could happen to Scottish Premier League was for Rangers FC to go into administration. Without Rangers in the SPL for 3 seasons, Celtic FC and the SPL itself became completely irrelevant outside Scotland.

    The Germans were years ahead of the Scottish in understanding the value of propping up rivals during financial crises. Bayern Munich offered interest-free loans to TSV Munich 1860 and Borussia Dortmund in order to keep both rivals financially solvent.

    A similar situation occurred in American college sports a few years ago when the University of California at Berkeley (a.k.a. “Cal”) announced that it was dropping the men’s baseball program. Boosters and alumni of Cal’s geographic rival, Stanford University, stepped up to contribute millions of dollars to build the endowment necessary to keep Cal men’s baseball from being dropped.

    The U.S. market is maturing. Marginal products such as Scottish, Dutch, and Argentine leagues have disappeared from TV networks owned by major U.S. media companies. A handful of marginal products such as Serie A, Ligue 1, the Portuguese League, and the Brazilian Championship remain available on marginal sports TV channels with foreign ownership. For how long? Who knows?

    • Mark

      July 27, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      Rangers died mate. A new club started in the bottom tier of Scottish football with a similar name.

      • Oliver Tse

        July 27, 2017 at 9:24 pm

        The original Rangers FC did NOT have to die.

        Celtic FC could have stepped in to financially prop up Rangers FC the way Bayern Munich bailed out both TSV Munich 1860 and Borussia Dortmund.

        Celtic FC chose to let the original Rangers FC die, and Celtic FC paid the price by having its brand and its relevance outside Scotland erode.

        • paulie

          August 20, 2017 at 10:50 pm

          Rangers did die.!!
          …and that’s a fact.

          Stealing money from poor, scottish working class families…
          There’s a word for spending money you don’t have.

          They were sold for 100 pennies = 1 pound note = 1 pound coin.

        • Andrew Watt

          December 9, 2017 at 6:28 pm

          No they couldn’t.
          The club eventually lost the big tax case to HMRC and were liable for over £100million if combined debt.

          Celtic could never have bailed them out.

          Also why the hell would they run 5heir own club prudently to then sudsidise the bigoted lot across the Clyde.

      • Real News

        July 28, 2017 at 7:23 pm

        No one who isn’t an SPFL fan (except Rangers fans) care about that.

    • Donald McKenzie

      July 27, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      The way the leagues have treated clubs in financial trouble is disgraceful and mind numbingly stupid. The NHL took over the Phoenix Coyotes when they were in trouble. The league spent damn near $1 billion to keep it afloat and relaunch 7 years (I think) later, In Scotland the idiots in charge add to the financial woes of clubs when they are in trouble. Small minded, petty and stupid.

    • paulie

      August 20, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      Ringers… sry, Rangers Cheated.!!

      No-one wants cheats…. never mind rewarding them with no consequenes and money for doing it.

    • paulie

      August 20, 2017 at 10:59 pm

      Another one that knows nothing about economics.

      Celtic were thriving without these, deadwood cheaters.
      The scottish league as a whole financially, were better off without them too.

    • Andrew Watt

      December 9, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      Glasgow Rangers died .
      They were liquidated.

  15. John Scally

    July 27, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    About time Celtic got more stuff on own internet channel as tv deals for Scottish football derisory! I will love if club got sky and bt sport out the door and showed all games at home on own online channel as would most certainly corner more than at present!

  16. JN

    July 27, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Seems like GolTv could use a league or two to bolster their offerings.

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