SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster expects clubs’ live streaming of Scottish football to come to an end at the conclusion of the 2021/22 campaign, as per the Press and Journal.
The lowdown: Positive vibes at Parkhead
At present, all is rosy at Celtic Park as manager Ange Postecoglou has the Bhoys facing in the right direction in pursuit of the Scottish Premiership title.
Six points clear of Old Firm rivals Rangers at the summit and with a potential domestic treble on the horizon, things really couldn’t be going much better for Celtic fans at the moment.
Having been forced to turn to club streams in lieu of live-action during the post-pandemic era, Hoops supporters have been able to return to Paradise to watch their side’s renaissance in person.
Now, the option of season ticket holders watching any game from a distance could be set to be taken off the table…
The latest: ‘Blocked hours’ back
Speaking to P&J, Doncaster has confirmed that the availability of watching top-flight football not chosen for television coverage from home will come to an end next season.
“We’re very grateful for the help Sky Sports have given us over the past two years, allowing our clubs to stream games.
“Effectively there has been a suspension of article 48, which is the blocked hours. The blocked hours mean you can’t broadcast between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday.
“I would expect blocked hours to resume from this summer and we’ll return to a world where you need to attend the game to see it.
“But football broadcasting remains an ever-changing landscape.”
The verdict: Backwards step
Whilst having supporters back inside football stadiums is the priority, allowing fans to watch their beloved side whenever possible from home was a step in the right direction.
This return to the so-called ‘blocked hours’ is a detrimental one and in truth only has a negative impact on the Scottish game, which already suffers from receiving far inferior broadcasting deals to the English leagues.
Albeit the days of empty stadiums are hopefully a thing of the past, some supporters may still be reticent to return and bringing an end to the option of streaming the Hoops may exclude those supporters.
In other news, Celtic are facing competition for EPL defender. Find out more here.
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