stv dropping SPL highlights

YOU’VE got to admire the way stv announced its dropping of Scottish Premier League football matches from its roster: the revelation was not made until paragraph three of a media release put out on Friday.

Instead, the release launched on the upbeat note that the station is “planning to diversify its sports coverage via the Scotsport brand by reporting on a wider range of sports”.

It follows an announcement last month that there’s to be a new rugby programme, which began broadcasting yesterday.

As for the dropping of SPL football, stv said: “Due to an increasingly overcrowded football coverage marketplace, stv has decided not to renew its contract to show highlights of SPL matches after this football season.

“However, stv remains committed to showing Champions League football, which remains hugely popular with viewers across the country attracting high audiences.”

Sport is expected to feature substantially on a new, 5.30pm news magazine show the station is launching within the next few months.

Says stv’s head of broadcasting, Bobby Hain: “Whilst remaining committed to the nation’s favourite sport, football, we see a real potential for attracting viewers whose interests lie in other areas of sport.

“The Scotsport brand, which turned 50 years old this year, will continue to feature via such programmes as the new Scotsport Rugby Sunday show, a regular slot in the new 5.30pm programme which will offer viewers regular diverse sports news, and via our website.

“We will also be exploring other areas to engage with our viewers via the Scotsport brand both on screen and online throughout the course of 2008.”