IMG Arena has announced the signing of a long-term rights agreement with the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). 

Beginning at the start of the 2020/21 season, the five-year deal will see IMG Arena aim to introduce an innovative automatic production set-up for certain matches and will also see it provide international betting markets with SPFL content. 

Neil Doncaster, SPFL Chief Executive, commented: “Deepening our mutually successful partnership with IMG Arena creates a range of increased commercial benefits, allowing us to reinvest significant revenues across the SPFL. It will also help to increase the international visibility and popularity of our competitions through innovative, best-in-class production.”

The deal will include the rights to the Ladbrokes Premiership, which features the deeply engaging ‘Old Firm’ Glasgow derby between Celtic and Rangers, as well as the Championship, League One and League Two. The Betfred Cup and Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup are also included in the agreement.

Moreover, in support of its SPFL partnership, IMG Arena will also collaborate with AI-automated sports production company Pixellot as the pair aim to drive extensive fan engagement and deliver an improved experience for supporters.

Freddie Longe, Managing Director at IMG Arena, added: “We are proud to renew our longstanding partnership with the SPFL. The extension of our relationship will see our remit grow further over a lengthy period and secures a key product in our portfolio. Signing this deal is a strong endorsement of our streaming product.”

To improve fan experience, Pixellot’s patented automated technology, which generates match footage that can be used online as well as across mobile devices, will be installed across SPFL Championship stadiums and be made available to an international audience. 

Longe concluded: “The Ladbrokes Premiership is an exciting competition that attracts sport fans from across the world. Our full SPFL offering means that we will be able to present an unprecedented level of Scottish football action to our international audience.

“Adding our innovative AI-automated solutions to IMG Arena’s world-leading production expertise creates a new template for sport streaming. This new venture will lead to audience growth for the SPFL’s competitions and will help take its content offering to the next level.”      

Insider Insight: The SPFL has undoubtedly increased in value since the re-emergence of Glasgow Rangers, a competitive league title race married with some hotly anticipated Glasgow derbies will inevitably heighten the league’s overall fan engagement.