Sky still have large number of Premiership games to show live - as Rangers prove more popular than Celtic

Following the Old Firm clash on Sunday with Celtic running out 2-1 winners at Ibrox, there are two more derbies this weekend in the cinch Premiership as Hearts host Hibs and Dundee United are at home to Dundee.

Neither game, however, has been chosen by Sky Sports despite the league’s broadcaster still having 13 games available to them between now and the end of the league season.

Instead, St Mirren v Rangers is live on Sunday. It will be the 35th live top-flight match of the season in the UK.

With 13 games still to use after the split, Sky have the option to broadcast up to three live games per matchday.

Sky Sports still have up to 13 games left to show in the Scottish Premiership this season. Picture: SNS

Last season, Sky Sports didn't take up their full amount, showing 41 of 48 and declined to comment when The Scotsman approached for a comment in May.

All 12 clubs have been shown live so far, while of the 35 live matches, just seven have not involved either Celtic or Rangers, with five of those coming in August and September.

The UK broadcast deal between Sky Sports and the SPFL is into the second season of a five-year deal agreed in 2018. It allows for up to 48 Premiership games to be shown live per season. The broadcaster can also show the final of the Premiership play-off.

The SPFL announced on Wednesday that all six Premiership play-off ties have been selected for live TV coverage. BBC Scotland will show the quarter-final and semi-final ties with Sky Sports covering the final between the team who finishes 11th in the top-flight and the winner of the semi-final.

A positive of the broadcast deal has been the option for fans to stream games via club channels if the game is not on Sky Sports aided by a suspension of the blocked hours rule which did not allow games to be shown live between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster believes the blocked hours will “resume” from next season.

How many times have clubs been shown live (includes St Mirren v Rangers): Aberdeen 3, Celtic 13, Dundee 4, Dundee United 5, Hearts 7, Hibs 6, Livingston 3, Motherwell 4, Rangers 18, Ross County 1, St Johnstone 3, St Mirren 3.

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