BBC pundit Chris Sutton has criticized Sky Sports as a recent Rangers game was not selected to be televised in the United Kingdom.
What’s the word?
In the Scottish Premiership last week, the Ibrox outfit travelled away to Hearts and managed to pick up a 3-0 victory thanks to a brace from Alfredo Morelos and an effort from Malik Tillman.
Going into the match, however, the home side were in good form winning five of their last nine league games, while Michael Beale’s men have both been playing well. Despite that, the game was not selected for broadcast in the UK and was only shown on Hearts TV for fans with pay-per-view (via Goal).
Seeing as this was such a fascinating game on paper, Sutton questioned why it wasn’t going to be aired live, and said fans would be left “scratching their heads”.
Speaking live on BBC 606, he said: “It’s hard to sort of quantify, but when you have a game of that magnitude. Hearts have been absolutely flying all season and Rangers, you know, big club, they’ve been picking up.
“That’s a game which I think most people would think should be televised. So there’s a lot of people across Scotland scratching their heads and saying, come on.”
Back in 2018, Sky Sports managed to claim Scottish Premiership TV rights ahead of BT Sport in a five-year deal worth a £150m. This means, since the 2020-21 campaign, they’ve been able to broadcast up to 48 games a season plus the top flight play-offs.
However, as shown by this most recent decision not to air the Rangers game mid-week, they haven’t always been able to keep fans happy with their scheduling plans.
This will all have no doubt come as a frustration to the club’s supporters, as well as neutral fans, who might have been keen to tune in to this clash against Hearts.
At least Rangers’ next game – which will see Beale’s men take on Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup’s fifth round – will be aired on Viaplay Sports 1 as Sky Sports don’t have the rights to those games.