I was not surprised to see Skybet revealed as the new title sponsor of the Football League today. I think that the Football League were truly struggling for a new title sponsor, it frankly made abundant sense to combine these rights as part of a broader discussion with Sky on the TV rights.
The debates are also interesting. The amounts of money that are now paid for TV rights suggests that similar deals should be struck elsewhere. It is surprising that similar deals have not been done historically. Could this possibly mean that Sky demand these rights going forward for future Premier League deals, possibly and i would certainly be seeking such rights if on that side of the negotiation table.
The other issue as far as the Football League is concerned is an interesting one. The issue of exclusivity has always been difficult, Sky will be seeking to provide exclusivity to Skybet at all of the 72 grounds and indeed there are some 8 clubs in the Premier League forced to abide by Football League betting partner rules. This i can see will get somewhat messy as clubs try to ascertain if they can still conclude their own betting deals on the perimeter and on concourse.
Finally there has been huge debate recently about what constitutes an ethical sponsor, especially with the recent news about payday lending companies. There will no doubt be many concluding that the Football League has sold out to a betting company, a not so friendly family brand etc etc.
The deal was only announced today, an interesting few days ahead no doubt on the forums!
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