The SPFL has signed a new five year deal with Sky Sports, which includes partnering with the broadcaster to launch its 2020/21 campaign in August and introducing ‘virtual season tickets’.
Scottish Premiership clubs will be able to create and sell a ‘virtual season ticket’ for the upcoming season, allowing fans to watch the home games of a team of their choice. The introduction of the new season ticket will be able to provide an alternative source of match income while the country still abides by social distancing rules which restricts large gatherings and crowds.
Rob Webster, Managing Director of Sky Sports, stated: “Sky Sports is proud of our long-standing relationship with Scottish football and we have been committed to finding a positive solution for the SPFL and clubs. The virtual season ticket for the 2020/21 season is an innovative way to maintain the connection with fans and provide economic stability for the clubs, and we are very happy to support it.
“The new season promises to be a unique experience for the Scottish Premiership and our approach is to be as flexible and supportive of the clubs as we can be in these unique times.”
As part of the agreement, Sky Sports will also exclusively broadcast all SPFL live coverage as the broadcaster becomes the new home of Scottish football. In total, Sky Sports will broadcast 48 games from Scotland’s top division.
Moreover, both firms have agreed to spread the financial settlement for the league’s unfinished games in the 2019/20 campaign. As a result of the settlement the governing body’s competition, and its subsequent clubs, will also be provided with much needed financial stability after the global health pandemic prematurely concluded its season.
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster concluded: “This is an innovative and pragmatic solution to the challenges posed by COVID-19 and I’m grateful for the flexibility shown by our clubs and by Sky Sports.
“This agreement means that any liability for games not delivered during Season 2019/20 has now been settled, on terms that reflect Sky’s status as a committed partner and supporter of Scottish football.”