ESPN has acquired the U.S. rights to the Scottish Premiership for the next five years, World Soccer Talk can exclusively reveal.
The agreement between ESPN and the Scottish Professional Football League is awaiting final signatures, so live coverage of select games is likely to begin in September after the clubs return from the international break. All of the matches selected for broadcast will be exclusively available via ESPN+ for $5.99/month (or $49.99/year). There’s no word yet whether select games may move to television, but it’s unlikely at this time.
After B/R Live decided not to renew the Scottish Premiership rights at the end of the 2019/20 season, the Scottish Professional Football League’s media partner Infront was given the task of selling the distribution rights to the top-flight Scottish league internationally. Unfortunately, despite interest from a number of broadcasters, Infront was unable to get an agreement signed in time for the beginning of the new season.
With both Celtic and Rangers having a significant supporters base in the United States, today’s news will come as a welcome relief for soccer fans who want to watch many of the best games from the top-flight Scottish league. Viewers in the United States have been accustomed to having access to watching the Scottish Premiership for the past decade or more. In the past, the rights to the Scottish league have been held by a range of broadcasters so the news that the agreement with ESPN is for five years is perhaps the best news of all. Scottish football has finally found a permanent home in the United States. After all, five years is practically a lifetime in the broadcast industry.
Select games on ESPN+ at $5.99/month will be far more economical than subscribing directly to the streams provided by club TV channels such as Celtic TV ($196/season), Rangers TV ($315/season), Reds TV ($196/season for Aberdeen supporters), and so on through the official club websites.
World Soccer Talk understands that the deal also includes the Scottish Championship, League One and League Two, as well as Scottish Challenge Cup and League Cup competitions.
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