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Early SPL start will increase TV revenue for clubs

Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster is confident that the decision to start the 2011-12 season in July will increase broadcast revenue for clubs and boost attendances.

The SPL yesterday announced the decision to begin the campaign on July 22nd although clubs will be able to request one fixture postponement in advance, to allow for parti­cipa­tion in pre-season tournaments, such as the Dublin Super Cup which Celtic are parti­cipating in.

Doncaster, writing in his blog for the SPL website, said:  "By kicking off and concluding our season at the same time as the English, we are diluting the appeal of our games to broad­casters.

"In contrast, by starting our season ahead of the Premier League, at a time when there is a real shortage of football on TV, we allow our broadcast partners to properly showcase SPL football to the whole of the UK and the rest of the World.  And this will inevitably drive more interest (and more broadcast income) in the Scottish game.

"It will boost clubs' incomes and increase the value of SPL games to broad­casters. And it's what fans tell us they want.

"There is no doubt that it is simply a much more pleasant experience going to a game in the warm summer sun on a July Saturday than having to brave the snow and ice on a mid-week February evening

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