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SPFL slams Express story of extra Sky Sports live matches as Fake News

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The SPFL has disowned a story in The Express that their new deal with Sky Sports had been extended from 48 fixtures to 61 live matches.

On Wednesday the SPFL announced that they had agreed a deal with their exclusive broadcast partner that would allow clubs to provide a Virtual Season Ticket to fans excluded by social distancing.

Part of the agreement involved the SPFL repaying Sky Sports £1.5m over the five year term to compensate for the lost fixtures from the 2019/20 season.

Taking that aspect a step further today, at 5.21pm Bruce Archer of The Express exclusively revealed:

The new SPFL broadcasting deal with Sky Sports has been substantially devalued with additional matches added to the package for the first year as a sweetener to the broadcaster after the curtailment of the 2019/20 season, it can be revealed. It was announced this week that the new five-year partnership would see Sky show up to 48 games a season.

But Express Sport understands the agreement with the SPFL will actually enable Sky Sports to show 61 games for the first year of the contract.

That works out at one extra match for each club, plus another extra one for Celtic for the unfurling of the flag game on their first home match of the season.

On the financial terms of the deal that would see each game’s value drop from £520,833 to £404,918, which will see Scottish clubs missing out on just over £7m.

And despite the SPFL insisting the deal is as publicly advertised, Express Sport has seen proof that the recommendation to clubs sent on May 29 included new proposals allowing Sky to broadcast five live matches from their home stadium, and six in the case of Celtic, an addition from the previously agreed four matches for each club.

Later tonight the SPFL fired back with the Daily Record, part of the Reach Group alongside The Express, reporting:

The article stating that the SPFL’s deal with Sky Sports is for 61 games rather than 48 is entirely false.

The journalist has been informed it’s false and has refused to remove the story but, for the record, the Sky Sports contract is for up to 48 games per season as stated in all official communication from the SPFL.

August 1 is the start date for the new SPFL Premiership season with Celtic still to finalise details of their virtual Season Tickets.

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