London/Glasgow – Infront, a Wanda Sports Group company and the exclusive international media rights partner of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), has extended the global reach of SPFL competitions to more than 150 territories. The increase comes as a result of several new broadcast agreements for the 2020/21 season.
Recent partnerships with broadcasters including ESPN in the USA, Match TV in Russia, Polsat in Poland and Sport1 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland pushes the reach of Scottish football to over 150 territories. The deal is the latest in a series of recent agreements following partnerships with the Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) and beIN Sport in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.
All broadcasters will show matches from the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Championship, Scottish League One & Two, as well as the Betfred Cup.
Stephan Herth, Infront Senior Vice President Football said: "The broad reach of the SPFL is an indicator that interest in both the league and the cup competitions is continuing to rise abroad. With more than 100 foreign players competing in the league, it has an international appeal and consistently delivers exciting matches that football fans around the world can get excited about."
Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL said: “This announcement is fantastic news for Scottish football and puts our game, our competitions and our teams on a global stage. With SPFL competitions now available to watch in more than 150 territories across the world, more and more supporters will be able to experience the excitement and spectacle that is Scottish football."
Russell Wolff, executive vice president and general manager ESPN+ said: “The Scottish Premiership on ESPN+ will offer fans tradition, intensity, rivalries and some of the most passionately supported clubs in the world – and will add further to the most comprehensive lineup of soccer available in the U.S. During such a uniquely challenging time, it is testament to the strength of Scottish football’s enduring popularity that there remains significant global demand for our game. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners at Infront with a view to further extending the SPFL’s global footprint.”
The SPFL has also leveraged technology to improve its engagement with fans online. Infront partner DEEP, which uses software to create automated infographics based on data, has been used to create content for the SPFL's social media channels.
Furthermore, voting and polling tools created by Infront's digital arm iX.co have been embedded on the SPFL's website allowing fans to vote for a classic SPFL matches during the COVID-19 lockdown. The same technology was used for the “Goal of the Month” with the number of votes received increasing fifteenfold when compared to similar polls last year.
Finally, Infront partner Minutle.ly has used its artificial intelligence software to create dynamic preview GIFs and videos for the SPFL website and Google to help drive engagement on videos.