Published: 02/08/2012 02:00 - Updated: 02/08/2012 06:38

TV deal can shape future - Butcher

TERRY Butcher insists tomorrow's (Friday's) SPL meeting should result in a new TV deal finally being agreed for the top-flight - so that clubs can plan for the future.

Chairmen of the 12 Scottish Premier League clubs are expected to agree to a new £12million broadcasting deal with Sky and ESPN for coverage of games, although the length of deal is rumoured to be anything from five to seven years.

Sky are set to screen 30 matches per season and ESPN will show 35, with new company Rangers being featured live in Division Three at least 15 times.

Sky confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that they have already clinched a deal with the SPL to show their matches for five years, starting with champions Celtic hosting Aberdeen on Saturday at 12.45pm.

This is subject to ratification by the clubs' chiefs tomorrow.

The Scottish Football League have nailed a deal worth £1million for coverage of Rangers, leaving a £12million pot for the dozen in the SPL to share.

Rangers first live Third Division game will be the August 11 clash away to Peterhead.

Ahead of tomorrow's McDiarmid Park talks, Caley Thistle boss Butcher told the HN: "We need that clarification (of the TV deal). That's the one key piece of a very complicated jigsaw that's been missing this summer. Once we know what's happening, everyone can adjust.

"I think the chairmen at the SPL meeting on Friday can then start to look not only at how much money will be coming our way, but we can also discover how that money will be split between the clubs. That's the key factor.

"After we know about the split of the money we can then move on to reconstruction talks and discussing the way forward. That needs to go on the agenda as soon as possible. We need something to work towards. All the fans need that after a summer of turmoil. That turmoil has just about ended and we can now look at a target for the season 2013-14. That will not only help to bring the fans back, but we can then look at sponsorship and the standard of the football, making the SPL a much better product for everyone to buy into it."

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