Broadcast overhaul for Celtic as media firm announces ‘significant’ rights acquisition

Nordic streaming company Viaplay has announced plans to acquire Premier Sports and all of their associated UK broadcast rights ahead of a launch in that country later this year.

This means that, pending regulatory approval, Viaplay will hold the rights to the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup going forward, both of which are expected to feature Celtic.

We discussed the possibility on 67 Hail Hail last week after reports suggested talks were taking place between the two sides. It is now confirmed.

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Viaplay said in a statement today: “Viaplay Group has agreed to acquire UK sports streamer and TV channel operator Premier Sports. This marks a significant acceleration of Viaplay Group’s ambitions in the UK, ahead of the launch of the Viaplay streaming service in the country this fall.

“Premier Sports’ attractive sports rights portfolio complements the rights Viaplay has previously secured for the UK, and its platforms are available across the UK through long-term distribution agreements with Sky, Virgin, Amazon and Netgem TV.

“In addition to content and distribution, the acquisition will also bring synergies with Viaplay in sports production, while strengthening Viaplay’s local brand awareness among viewers.”

The company says all Premier Sports platforms will be branded Viaplay and will continue to be available through existing distribution partners.

It is currently unclear whether the Premier Sports Cup, the current Scottish League Cup title, will receive a new name.

It’s also unclear whether there will be any changes in pricing or subscription levels.

Scottish Premiership matches will not be affected, with Sky Sports holding exclusive rights to these fixtures until 2025.

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However, the streaming company, which has a market value of around $1.7 billion [Bloomberg]could theoretically be a contender for the post-2025 Premiership contract, increasing the value of any deal and giving the league more options.

Obviously they intend to expand rapidly in the UK market and now own the rights to UEFA national team football, La Liga, NHL, Rugby League, as well as several other sports.

This is a situation to watch very closely!

In other news, Multiple Celtic Park changes along the way; new game day area.

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Cathy W. Howerton