Scottish commercial broadcaster STV has struck a partnership with pay TV sports broadcaster Premier Sports and free-to-air sister channel FreeSports covering streaming and advertising.
STV Player will become the first partner to host a live stream of the 24-hour FreeSports channel, enabling fans to watch up to 10 live football matches a week from US Major League Soccer, Portugal’s Liga NOS and Italy’s Serie A.
The channel also provides coverage of international rugby, ice hockey, motorsports, boxing, wrestling, competitive pool and equestrian events.
STV will also become the exclusive advertising sales agent for Premier Sports’ subscription services, Premier Sports 1 and 2, across all broadcast and digital platforms. The sales agreement is for three years.
Premier Sports holds exclusive UK and Republic of Ireland rights to Scottish Cup football, Serie A, Dutch Eredivisie, NHL hockey, NASCAR motorsports and GAA Gaelic sports, UK rights to Pro14 rugby and Irish rights to Premier League football.
“This partnership will provide our viewers on STV Player with access to 24-hour sports coverage. In addition to the wide range of original and archive content already available, FreeSports will further strengthen the STV Player as Scotland’s content destination of choice,” said Peter Reilly, STV’s commercial director.
“We are also delighted to be appointed as exclusive sales agent for Premier Sports. STV is Scotland’s pre-eminent advertising platform and we look forward to bringing our expertise and proven track record of working with advertisers to drive growth for Premier Sports across their digital and broadcast platforms.”
Richard Sweeney, Chief Executive Officer, Premier Sports, said: “We are thrilled to partner with STV as we look to continue growth across our three channels with ever increasing sports content. The addition of FreeSports to the STV Player is a welcome boost for fans of the channel and will be a huge hit with users of the STV Player.”
STV has meanwhile posted increased operating profit of £11 million, up 10%, for the first half, on reduced revenues of £54.9 million, down 5% after the closure of STV2 and the phasing of STV productions.
The company said that its strategic plan was progressing at pace, with the Sky launch of STV Player on track for Q4. The online service now has 11 third-party deals in place.
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