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SPL agree deal with Sky and ESPN
The deal will last until the end of season 2011-12, with the SPL having an option to extend the deal for a further two seasons. Lex Gold, chairman of the SPL, said: "We are pleased that in just over three weeks, we have been able to strike this deal." The league had been looking for an alternative broadcasting deal following the collapse of Setanta's UK operation. Last year Setanta agreed to pay £125million over four seasons to extend their deal with the SPL beyond 2010. On Thursday's announcement, Gold added: "Sky and ESPN are two of the biggest names in sport broadcasting and they will bring first-class production standards to the table. "We are looking forward to working with both in the coming years to raise the profile of the SPL for the our clubs, fans and partners." Rangers chief executive Martin Bain said this week that he had been in discussions with Celtic about buying the broadcasting rights themselves. However, a spokesman for the SPL said: "There was no alternative proposal brought forward by the Old Firm. We needed a vote of 8-4 and while we will not go into the exact voting, there was enough to secure the approval." Gold was elected unanimously for the eleventh time as chairman of the Scottish Premier League. He indicated that the process of succession planning was under way and that he expected to stand down in the autumn. Stewart Gilmour of St Mirren was also elected following his nomination to form part of the six-man board of directors. Gold, Stewart, and chief executive Neil Doncaster, will be joined by Rod Petrie (Hibernian), Duncan Fraser (Aberdeen) and Martin Bain (Rangers), who were all re-elected by the clubs to complete the SPL Board. Campbell Christie (Falkirk) stepped down from the Board on Thursday after two years' service. Gold said: "On behalf of the board and the clubs, I would like to thank Campbell for his time and valued input during his term."
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