THE SPFL have struck a deal with broadcaster Sky Sports that will allow season ticket holders to watch all of their side's Scottish Premiership fixtures live next season.

Club-produced pay-per-view (PPV) streams have been in operation in Scotland's stadia this term so that fans could follow their teams from home, with crowds still banned from grounds due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Supporters have been able to pay a one-off fee to stream live matches, while season ticket holders have been provided with free access in lieu of being able to attend matches this season.

The announcement from Scottish football's governing body means that virtual season tickets and matchday PPV streams will also be in use for the 2021/22 campaign. Discussions between the SPFL and the Scottish Government over the return of fans to stadia are still ongoing.

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A statement released by the SPFL on Monday afternoon revealed that Sky Sports will broadcast 48 matches live next season, with every other home game being available to watch on a PPV service provided by each club.

“For the past few months, there have been intense, detailed discussions between ourselves, Sky Sports and our clubs to give fans certainty that they will be able to watch their heroes playing live next season, irrespective of when supporters are allowed back into stadia," said SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster. "Today’s announcement is a major boost for everyone involved in the game.

“Obviously, we are all desperate to get supporters back into grounds on a safe and sustainable basis and are making good progress in our discussions with the Scottish Government, especially given the pace of the vaccine roll-out.

“In a normal season, almost five million fans attend SPFL games, the highest per capita attendance in Europe, and the current broadcast deals have been an absolute lifeline for clubs and supporters alike as they battle the enormous financial pressures caused by Covid-19.

"The television viewer numbers for Scottish football this season have been magnificent and this was one of the key reasons behind our agreement with Sky Sports to extend our current arrangements.

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“Sky Sports have been enormously supportive and, in the UK and Ireland, will continue to screen up to 48 live Scottish Premiership matches, as well as the Premiership / Championship play-off finals.

"In addition, the new deal enables Premiership clubs to broadcast on a pay-per-view basis every home SPFL game not selected by Sky Sports.”