SPFL chiefs ‘rip up TV deal’ five years early

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The SPFL is looking to sell its overseas broadcast rights from this season onwards after ripping up its existing TV deal halfway through the contract.

A ten-season agreement with MP & Silva, signed in 2013, has been terminated early after the rights holder defaulted on “a number of payments due to the SPFL, and other leagues around the world”.

The current TV deal ran until 2023 but has been terminated five years early. Picture: SNS Group

The current TV deal ran until 2023 but has been terminated five years early. Picture: SNS Group

SPFL chief Neil Doncaster said that Scottish football was growing in popularity both at home and abroad.

He added: “We are working to ensure that fans across the globe are able to enjoy matches from the Ladbrokes SPFL, the Betfred Cup and the IRN-BRU Cup as normal this season. “This also allows us to explore opportunities to give even more fans worldwide the chance to watch our games.”

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The SPFL has confirmed that the termination of the contract with MP & Silva will not affect the fees paid to clubs.

Supporters in 167 countries overseas watrched SPFL and Betfred Cup matches last season, and the league is putting in place plans for international broadcasters, who have already agreed to show live fixtures in the next few weeks, to receive signal as usual.

The decision to pull the plug on the deal with MP & Silva comes as audiences in Australia, North Africa and the Middle East were unable to watch Aberdeen v Rangers and Hearts v Celtic over the last two weekends.

As recently as September 2017, MP & Silva came under fire after it emerged their brochure - used to try and sell the SPFL to potential broadcasters - contained wildly out-of-date information.

In a section marked “Star Players” it featured Steve Thompson - ordinarily known as Steven Thompson, who had retired - ex-Celtic player Jo Inge Berget, who had departed the Scottish top flight two years prior and Mickael Antoine-Curier, who left in January 2016.