The Sporting Rant - Scottish Football TV conspiracy!
Football: TV cash deal conspiracy against Scottish Football
Is there a conspiracy by television companies to not give the Scottish Football League the TV revenue it deserves? The real reason other leagues are richer than Scotland in finances, is because, Scotland does not get the TV revenues we should have.
Other leagues with lower viewing figures get far more money. Other leagues get far more money than our league even taking into account populations.
That is why Scottish clubs cannot compete with other leagues in finances. We get the highest attendances in the world per capita for our population. We love football in Scotland.
If Scottish football got the TV money it deserves it would make a small difference to Cetic and Rangers. But massive changes for the likes of Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs, and astronomical differences for the likes of Ross County, Partick Thistle, Dundee and Motherwell.
Evidence of TV rights for Scotland
I am looking at British and Irish viewing figures only.
The March 2018 Old Firm derby got over half a million viewers. Although I have to admit viewing figures for Old Firm derbies have been down to a quarter of a million., and as high as three quarters of a million viewers in recent years.
So the figures do fluctuate.
A Hearts - Hibs derby this season got 50,000 viewers, yet another Hearts V Hibs derby at Tynecastle this season also brought in 127,000 viewers.
Recently season 127.000 viewers watched a Celtic v Aberdeen game.
In 2015 an article suggested that for the previous season 11.3 million people viewed Scottish football matches on TV. That was before Glasgow Rangers got back into the Premier division. So viewing figures will be higher now.
The ratings average for the two recent Aberdeen v Rangers games were 140,000 each.
All in all, it is reasonable to say Scottish league matches get an average of over 100,000 per televised game.
A recent TV deal gave Scottish football a five year 80 million pound deal.
And the current deal is 18.5 million pounds a year.
Comparison against EPL
In October 2017, the English Premier was seeing Sky draw approximately 819,000 viewers per match. With 692,000 for BT sport. So not even 10 times the typical viewing audiences for typical Scottish televised matches.
Yet the EPL gets 1.71 billion a year. That is according to an article in the Scottish Daily Record last year.
I have read sky pays the English premier 10 million pounds per game, at a rate of 4.2 billion pounds for 126 games from 2016-17 to 2018-19. With BT paying around 900 million pounds.
So lets think about this! English football which gets around 6 to 8 times the viewing figures of Scottish football gets 91 times the TV deal in finances.
Lets just compare these numbers
1,700,000,000 pounds a year for viewing figures of between 600,000 and 900,000 for the English Premier.
18,500,000 pounds for viewing figures at a conservative estimate of 100,000 per match for the Scottish league.
Even if you claimed that English matches get 900,000 viewers a game and Scottish football gets 100,000, then Scottish football should get one ninth of what English football gets. Even if you were to be even more charitable, to England, and say we should get a tenth, we would be making 170,000,000 a year. OK there is a problem because Scotland does not have as many games to show. But surely it is easy to see Scottish football getiing 130 million a year, with 10 million a year given up for parachute payments, with the rest of 120,000,000 to be shared equally among the 12 premier clubs, that is 10 million a year for each club.
Against other leagues
An article in the Scottish Daily Record, earlier this season, suggested other tv revenues fall in line with ;
46 million pounds a year for the Danish League;
35 million pounds a year for Norway’s league;
110 million pounds a year for Portugal’s league;
60 million pounds a year for Belgium’s league;
and a staggering 90 million a year for the Netherlands.
This proves that Scotland a far more football obbsessed country with markets open to England, Ireland and Wales is doing rubbish at TV rights.
Against English Rugby Union
A similar sized market would be the English rugby union league. My research has found, the English rugby union league is getting around 38 million pounds a year until 2021, on BT Sport.
Now wait for this killer fact. An article on the internet has said that a few years ago the combined season TV audience was 7.88 million watching Aviva Premiership Rugby on BT sport, that is more than 3 million less than the Scottish Premier got when Glasgow Rangers were not even in the Scottish Premier. The largest viewing figure for a rugby union game that season was 276,000 people tuning in to watch London Wasps (Now Coventry Wasps), against Leicester Tigers.
How the heck does it make sense for a league with 3 million less viewers to gets nearly double the TV rights that Scottish League ensnares. And that is not taking into account, Glasgow Rangers are back in the premier.
I love rugby union. it is my second favourite sport. And I hope Glasgow and Edinburgh do well in the Pro14. Plus I totally respect English rugby union as a great system. But why does the English top league deserve to be getting nearly double the TV rights for less viewers, that Scottish Premier football gets. What is going on?
Against English Rugby League
In 2014 the English Rugby League earned 182,000,000 for a five year deal for international and league games. The Super League clubs got 146,000,000 a year that is 29,2 million a year for the league.
According to one article I read super league viewing figures are under 70,000 per game. I like rugby league and Scotland, Ireland and Wales have all had good runs in the World Cup in recent years. It is a cool sport. But why the heck is rugby league getting more money than the Scottish premier league when it gets lower viewing figures? It makes no sense. The average Super league attendance in 2014 was around 8,000. Celtic and Rangers get crowds in the many tens of thousands. Why is the Super League getting more TV money, for less viewers?
What would more TV money do to Scottish Football?
If Scottish football got the TV rights they deserve it would transform Scottish football
The current domestic league TV money for Celtic and Rangers is a small fraction of their income. But a larger proportion of the incomes for clubs like Ross County, and St Johnstone. Celtic and Rangers are lucky to get 2 million pounds from the league, out of a turnover of each club, in the tens of millions. Even if Scottish football got the TV revenue it deserves shared equally among the premier clubs that would equal maybe at most a sixth of Cetlic’s turnover. But for clubs like Partick Thistle, and Ross County, an extra 10 million would transform them from a small professional club to a club that could purchase players for multi million deals. I am certain that with that sort of finances of shared equally among the premier, at 10 million pounds a year for each club, then the premier would become more competitive with more clubs challenging for the title. An extra 10 or so million for Aberdeen or Hibernian would transform them to be able to buy players for multi million pound deals from the lower leagues of England or of foreign nations. This would enable them to compete for the title. and get further in Europe which would generate more finances.
Is the Scottish League Attractive?
Yes, Yes, Yes. Some may look at the Scottish League and say well I don’t find it attractive for whatever reason. Maybe you think it is uncompetitive, foreign, boring, not skillful enough. Whatever! But that is immaterial. The fact is it gets perfectly good tv viewing figures for it’s population. So there are people who want to watch it.
IT DOES NOT GET THE TV REVENUE PROPORTIONATE TO IT’S VIEWING FIGURES.
I don’t like soap operas. I am not very interested in the Dutch League or the Turkish leagues but that does not stop tens of millions of pounds being spent on them. The fact is there is a market for those leagues and shows. Whether you like it or not, Scottish football is attractive to viewing figures that are more than 10% of what England’s top league gets. You can’t argue with that, no matter your opinion of the league.
And considering Scotland gets the highest attendances per capita of any league in the World, that proves we are more passionate about football than anyone else, full stop. So how the heck are we getting such low TV rights? How? Tell me? I’m waiting for an answer.
The conspiracy theory
A commentator for one of the British TV companies has openly said that while he was working for a major broadcaster he was told that as punishment for Scottish football refusing a new TV deal with the said broadcaster, that he must ignore Scottish football on his shows as if it does not exist. To punish Scottish football for wanting a better deal.
That makes no commercial sense for that TV broadcaster to punish Scottish football. It was a purely punitive vindictive punishment against Scottish football, for reasons that no fair minded person could justify.
That makes me wonder if other broadcasters take the same attitude to Scottish football, of wanting to treat Scotland as an enemy foreign nation that should not be supported, in the same way English sports leagues are. Could that be the reason Scottish football does not get the TV rights it deserves? Is it anti Scottish nationalism deliberately trying to make Scottish football smaller. You get that attitude when everything that happens in English football is spun in a positive way, by the media. While everything that happens in Scottish football is spun in a negative way, by the British media.
For instance when Man City win the English league at a canter we are told what a marvellous honour it is to watch that great Man City team of 2018. Showing that Man City are the best team in the world, in the best league in the world. And that everyone should be proud to watch such genius.
Meanwhile when Glasgow Celtic go and win the Scottish league at a canter we are told that this is boring, tedious ,monotonous and shows Scottish football is rubbish and that Celtic would be better of joining the English league and playing in the conference. Even though they get crowds of 60,000, that is more than Man City. One reporter even suggested that even Celtic fans should not bother watching their club, because apparently winning a league, with attractive football, is really boring if you do it too much.
Another example of media bias. A Scottish club loses in Europe, so that proves that Scottish football is rubbish and every Scottish club should leave the Scottish league and join the English non league system.
An English club loses in Europe, and the attitude of the media is don’t worry they’ll be back next year.
I am not anti English. I want the English to help the fellow Celtic nations, and not by annexation.
I want Scottish football to grow. I would like our biggest clubs to stay in the Scottish league to improve it, and challenge for European trophies. But I would love on top of that cross border cups between all the top division clubs of the British Isles. Such as a British and Irish Isles Club Cup, a Celtic Club Cup, or a Anglo Scottish Cup coming back.
SCOTTISH FOOTBALL DESERVES, AND NEEDS A BETTER TV DEAL.
Susan of North Wales.
Thanks for reading.