Scottish soccer grows international audience

Scottish league football is being screened in more than 100 countries for the first time after a number of new international broadcast deals were struck in territories around the world.

MP & Silva, an international media rights company, has been instrumental in helping to grow Scottish football’s international audience.

The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) said this season’s Ladbrokes Premiership is being shown in 102 territories across the globe — up from 61 last season.

New contracts include Fox Sports broadcasting to Latin America, two deals in Japan with Perform Media & Sky Perfect TV, and LeTV increasing coverage in China, the SPFL said.

Coverage across Europe has risen from 13 to 18 countries in 2015/16, with Hungary and Romania via DigiSport both new additions and French SPFL coverage now led by Canal+, while BeinSport has increased its SPFL games shown in the Middle East and North Africa.

Marco Auletta, CEO of MP & Silva, said: “Bringing the best of football to fans across the world is in the DNA of MP & Silva, and we are extremely proud of the increased visibility for the SPFL internationally.  The partnership has gone from strength to strength and we are looking to increase the popularity of Scottish league football even more.”

“While in Scotland we constantly and rightly scrutinise our national sport and consider ways to further improve it, I think there is an under-appreciation of just how highly respected and liked Scottish football is by fans, other clubs and football authorities in all corners of the globe,” said SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster.

“This increased international exposure helps open up all manner of possibilities for our clubs from marketing and developing new commercial partnerships to opportunities to sell into what can often be a lucrative transfer market.

“The SPFL and its commercial team will continue to work closely with our broadcast partners to further expand awareness and coverage of our game for the benefit of supporters and clubs alike.”

In season 2015/16, Ladbrokes Premiership matches are being shown in 102 countries, Scottish League Cup games –presented by Utilita — in 29 nations, and Petrofac Training Cup contests in 12.

Domestically, the SPFL recently agreed extensions to existing contracts with Sky Sports and BT Sport which will see both channels continue to show live Scottish league football across the UK until and including season 2019/20.