The SPFL are launching a crackdown on illegal streaming.
Fans watching Saturday 3pm matches from home has become a growing problem as they hack into legal streams available outside of the UK and Ireland.
Last season Celtic carried out a very successful exercise which prevented this happening but from this weekend every SPFL match will be available to legally purchase on a match by match basis.
Selling individual games should provide a worthwhile source of income to clubs deprived of traditional matchday sources but that will be under threat from companies looking to share commercially and individual fans who could share the stream of other devices.
The Sun reports:
The SPFL said busting illicit viewings is a priority after signing a money-spinning new five-year TV deal with Sky Sports.
A spokesman added: “This will see us ramping up monitoring of illegal streams of SPFL matches. Illegal streaming is not simply against the law — it sucks vital revenue out of SPFL clubs at a time when they are fighting for survival in the face of the pandemic.
“Illegal streaming is not, as some think it to be, a ‘victimless crime’. It is a criminal offence that the SPFL takes extremely seriously.
“This season we’ll be using covert monitoring of illegal streams and of those pubs and clubs who choose to broadcast pirated broadcasts. Last season we took successful legal action against a number of pubs in Scotland.”
Celtic’s first three SPFL matches, against Hamilton, Kilmarnock and St Mirren are all being shown by Sky Sports.
On August 15 the home match against Aberdeen will be on the virtual Season Ticket and also available to buy directly from Celtic. No price has been set for individual matches but other Premiership clubs have priced their home matches between £12-20.
All of Celtic’s away matches are expected to be shown by Sky Sports with no individual match offers available on games shown by the exclusive broadcast partner.