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FOX SOCCER PLUS BECOMES NEW HOME OF SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE
EXCLUSIVE TELEVISION RIGHTS AGREEMENT SECURES SCOTLAND’S TOP DIVISION THROUGH 2013-2014 SEASON
Los Angeles (March 13, 2012) – FOX Soccer Plus, America’s premium television network dedicated to delivering the world’s best soccer and international sports, is the new home of the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League in the United States and Caribbean. This exclusive agreement with SPORTFIVE International secures the SPL television rights for the remainder of the 2011-12 season through the 2013-2014 campaign. The first SPL match on FOX Soccer Plus takes place on Saturday, March 17, when Dundee United host Rangers at Tannadice Park (8:40 a.m. ET). The Old Firm Derby, Scotland’s premier rivalry contested between Glasgow powerhouses Celtic and Rangers, is being carried by FOX Soccer on Sunday, March 25 (8:00 a.m. ET).
“We are proud to welcome the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League into our family of networks,” said Dermot McQuarrie, Senior Vice President of Production and Assistant General Manager of FOX Soccer. “The SPL is a top competition, featuring some of the most historic clubs in European football, including both Celtic and Rangers.”
FOX Soccer Plus plans to carry up to two SPL matches per week throughout the season, along with weekly half-hour highlight shows to recap each round of play. Schedule permitting, all Old Firm clashes are airing on FOX Soccer.
As Scotland’s top division, the SPL boasts some of the world’s oldest rivalries and richest storylines. Magnified by the special relationship between its two most successful clubs, Celtic and Rangers, the 12-team league serves as a hotbed for some of Europe’s best young players.
Arguably the fiercest rivalry in the global game, the Old Firm accounts for more than half of Scotland’s topflight titles dating back to 1890. Celtic and Rangers first met in 1888, and to this day their contests are Scotland’s biggest matches. Between them, the two teams boast 96 Scottish League Championships, 67 Scottish Cups and 41 Scottish League Cups. Both sides have experienced European success, with Celtic becoming the first British club to hoist the European Cup in 1967. Celtic currently lead Rangers by 21 points at the top of the SPL table. However, Rangers have 158 victories to Celtic’s 144 in this hotly-contested fixture.
Founded in 1998, the Scottish Premier League has been home to 18 different teams through promotion and relegation, but only Celtic and Rangers have won titles. Aside from the Old Firm clubs, there are teams with embedded traditions and European success in the SPL, including Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hearts and Hibernian.
ABOUT FOX SOCCER AND FOX SOCCER PLUS FOX Soccer, part of the FOX Sports Media Group, offers the most comprehensive multi-media coverage of world-class soccer available in the United States. Encompassing FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus, FOXSoccer.com and FOX Soccer 2Go, the network serves as the primary television, online, and mobile smart phone and tablet destination in the U.S. for elite competitions including England’s Barclays Premier League and FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, Italy’s Serie A, Women’s Professional Soccer and the Australian Hyundai A-League in addition to such prestigious tournaments as England’s Carling Cup, the CONCACAF Champions League™ and CONCACAF Gold Cup. Flagship FOX Soccer is Nielsen-rated and available to service providers in High-Definition, reaching more than 40 million cable and satellite households nationwide. FOX Soccer Plus is a premium network providing the core fan with even more international and domestic high-level sports competitions in HD. In addition to live, exclusive soccer matches from the best leagues in the world, FOX Soccer Plus delivers premium rugby from the RaboDirect PRO 12 League, Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup, among other competitions. Live match coverage is also available online via premium broadband service FOX Soccer 2Go, and for fans on-the-go, via the new FOX Soccer mobile and tablet applications. For more information – as well as news, features, analysis stats and more – visit one of America’s most-visited online soccer destinations at FOXSoccer.com, and the network’s Facebook page and Twitter feed (@FOXSoccer).