SFSA CALLS FOR ACTION TO ALLOW SCOTLAND MATCHES TO BE SEEN BY ALL FREE

Date: 28th April 2022

DATE: 28/04/2022

SFSA NEWS RELEASE:  SFSA CALLS FOR ACTION TO ALLOW SCOTLAND MATCHES TO BE SEEN BY ALL FREE

Scotland’s national independent fans organisation, the SFSA, is calling for international matches to be available free to all fans in Scotland.
And we ask the Scottish Government to look at how football fans outside England are being treated differently by their free to air media companies.

The Scottish Football Supporters Association noted the announcement that Viaplay has bought our games.
They are a subsidiary of the Swedish based NENT Group and a planned new entrant to the UK, hoping to start trading in Scotland later this year.

The rights deal, negotiated by UEFA, has seen Viaplay awarded all Scotland’s UEFA national team games from 2024 till 2028.
This will cover qualifiers for 2026 FIFA world cup, qualifiers for the Euros 2028, UEFA Nations League and friendlies.

This new ‘PPV’ deal replaces the current deal with long term partners Sky and means in a time of unprecedented pressure on household budgets that Scots fans will be asked to commit to yet another paid outgoing.

In England fans will continue to watch their national team, effectively free on ‘council telly’ where currently the matches are also sponsored by Nationwide Building Society.

Already on social media Scottish fans are voicing their displeasure and aiming their frustration, and righteous barbs and anger at having to shell out even more, at the SFA.

The SFA have announced the new deal positively saying this it is good for them with guaranteed income which will be reinvested throughout the game.

The Issue

The media rights are sold by UEFA not by the SFA.

Viaplay have outbid Sky and any of our current Scottish terrestrial broadcasting companies, Scottish Television and BBC Scotland if indeed they took part.

The amount that will actually come to the Scottish game has not yet been announced.

In England Channel 4 have secured their games until 2024 in the UEFA broadcast rights process.

Therefore while no pay per view outlay will be required by English fans, or Scots fans watching English games on ITV and Channel 4 from north of the border, the same cannot be said for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. In these countries fans wanting to watch their own national sides have to pay.

Andy Smith, Chair of the Scottish Football Supporters Association said, “This is just wrong and bad news for all Scottish fans. It is really annoying to be able to watch England free on STV or Channel 4 depending on the competition when to watch Scotland matches in the same tournaments needs a substantial outlay from an extra PPV or subscription.

The SFA are not at fault here and indeed I hope the substantial revenues from the deal will be announced openly and channelled transparently into the grass roots of our game where investment is much needed and long overdue.
But it is unfair that we are being forced to shell out yet again and the most obvious question we want answers to is, how and why do TV broadcasters in England value the English Team so much higher than those in Scotland?

Maybe the fact that in England there is a DCMS, (Department of Culture Media and Sport) and in Scotland that doesn’t exist.
Maybe we should ask the Scottish Government to work with the other disenfranchised parts of the UK and create a Barnet Type formula for this kind of media driven unfairness?
The least we need is a set of criteria that Uefa have to work to in future negotiations”.

Join the SFSA here www.scottishfsa.org

For further information on The SFSA please
contact Our Chairman Andy Smith 07796 697156
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