Ticketless Hearts and Hibs fans facing derby blackout as broadcasters snub derby with no PPV offering

Hearts and Hibs face each other on October 7.Hearts and Hibs face each other on October 7.
Hearts and Hibs face each other on October 7.
Ticketless capital football fans face a derby day blackout after broadcasters once again failed to take up the option of showing the head to head between Hearts and Hibs.

It is the first time that new Leith boss Nick Montgomery will take on Steven Naismith’s Gorgie side but Sky Sports have opted to ignore the latest showdown.

Instead, they will feature the lunchtime Sunderland vs Middlesbrough English Championship fixture and the 5.30pm Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest Premier League match. The only Scottish offering that weekend will be St Mirren v Rangers, the following day.

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With the host broadcasters restricted in the number of games that can be televised from each ground (currently for but that increases to five in 2024), they tend to reserve their Tynecastle and Easter Road allocations for when Celtic and Rangers come calling, blanking three of the four league derby meetings between the capital foes last term.

Previously, there has been pay-per-view access on club network’s and while overseas viewers will still be able to tune in that way, with the kick-off remaining at 3pm, it clashes with other SPFL matches, preventing the clubs from offering that option to UK-based fans. That has angered fans unable to get tickets for the sell-out matches.

It was honours even in the Premiership meetings last season, with each club recording a home win, bookended by 1-1 draws at the beginning and end of the campaign. The latter ending in a mass fracas, and yellow cards for coaches and players of both sides.

Hearts did tip the balance of results in their favour with a 3-0 win in their Scottish Cup meeting, which was televised by Viaplay.

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