BBC Alba expands Scottish women’s football coverage

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BBC Alba will expand its coverage of Scottish women’s football for Gaelic language audiences following the national team’s qualification for its first-ever Women’s World Cup finals.

The three-year deal with the Scottish FA will see all of the national squad’s home competitive games shown live on BBC Alba, as well as live coverage of all Scotland matches at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

BBC Alba will also increase its coverage of the women’s domestic league in Scotland with coverage of at least six games, including the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup Final and the SWPL Cup Final.

Glasgow City FC’s 2018/19 UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign will also be covered by BBC Alba, signalling a huge boost to the profile of the sport in Scotland.

All of BBC Alba’s live matches will be simulcast online via the BBC iPlayer.

Chris Rawlings, Scottish FA’s commercial director said:

“This is a partnership we are extremely excited about as the women’s and girls’ game in Scotland continues to develop. Having a guaranteed broadcast partner allows us to show all the women’s national team home matches which have proven to be an exciting entity.

“The record crowd of 4,098 at The Simple Digital Arena in Paisley proves the appetite is there to watch the women’s national team and this deal enables the nation to watch our games, when they can’t make it along to the stadium.

“We will work closely with BBC Alba to ensure the partnership continues to grow year on year and continues to deliver a high quality broadcast of the matches.”

Iseabail Mactaggart, MG Alba director of strategy and partnership added:

“This is an exciting moment for the channel. In the 10 years of BBC ALBA we have demonstrated in other sports how a national free-to-air platform can showcase a growing sport, and at the same time introduce audiences – sometimes for the first time – to Gaelic.

“Scottish women’s football is at an extraordinarily exciting junction, and we are delighted to be working with the Scottish FA and SWF to create transformative partnerships which will be good for BBC ALBA’s audiences, but also fantastic for Scottish women’s football at domestic league and national level.

“We are also very pleased that with the BBC we will be able to broadcast live all of the Scottish national team’s Women’s World Cup games, should they qualify.”

BBC Alba’s new deal with the Scottish FA was announced on the same day that Shelley Kerr’s Scotland side reached their first-ever World Cup finals, qualifying in dramatic fashion with an away win over Albania.

Vivienne MacLaren, chair of Scottish Women’s Football, said:

“This agreement is a huge sign of progress within Scottish women’s football. Making the game more visible is of vital importance to us as an organisation and this deal is another positive step forward. Having worked with BBC ALBA previously, we know the passion they have for our game and we’re delighted to be part of this agreement.

“It’s such an exciting time for the domestic game. To have matches being broadcast on a national platform is a testament to all those involved in the game, past and present, and secures a bright future for the next generation of girls’ and women’s footballers.”

As well as extended TV coverage, the Scottish FA and BBC Alba will also share unprecedented levels of content across social media to ensure the profile of the game is raised, driving growth in spectators, participation and viewers.

BBC Alba’s live coverage of Scotland’s matches at the 2019 Women’s World Cup will compliment the BBC’s wider network coverage of every match at the tournament next summer across BBC TV, Red Button and online.

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